Most in Ocean County are likely well aware of the duty one has to remain at the scene of a car accident that they have been involved in. Yet despite this being fairly common knowledge, hit-and-run accidents continue to occur. Indeed, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that 737,100 such incidents happened in 2015 in the U.S. alone. The main reason why most believe it is required that one stay at the scene of an accident is to provide law enforcement officials with the details of the collision. Yet while such information is important, state law actually gives two other reasons as to why one cannot flee the scene of a car accident.
Per Section 39.4-129 of New Jersey’s state statutes, one who has been involved in a collision must remain in order to provide the following information to all other parties who were also caught up in the collision:
- Home address
- Drivers’ license
- Vehicle registration certificate
One must also give this information to any law enforcement officers who request it after arriving at the scene.
The other main reason the law provides regarding why one cannot flee the scene of a car accident is to fulfill the duty to render aid to other accidents victims. While it is understood that many will lack the training needed in order to provide adequate medical, the law requires that one offer “reasonable assistance.” While that may require some first aid, the only exact details state law offers in this regard is to transport one needing treatment to a facility where care can be rendered if that person asks for such assistance. If transporting the person safely is not possible, one is expected to summon first responders.