From Business Insider to the National Post in Canada, numerous news outlets all across the world have published stories about the horrific phenomenon of drivers in China preferring to “Hit to Kill” than “Hit to “Injure”. You could almost say that in this kind of situation, drivers in China are indeed the worst type of drivers to ever hit the roads. I can’t imagine what would possesses them to be so cruel towards poor pedestrians who were at the wrong place at the wrong time?
Put simply, money is the root of all evil. If a driver hits a pedestrian without killing them, the driver must pay compensation to the pedestrian until they basically die. The Slate gives a perfect example of how much a driver has to compensate if the pedestrian lives to tell the story in court: “one disabled man received about $400,000 for the first 23 years of his care.”
If the pedestrian is killed, the driver only has to “pay once, like a burial fee” and that only ranges from $30,000 to $50,000 in compensation. Horrifying, I know.
The top 3 causes of mortality in China are strokes, coronary heart diseases and road injuries. Another disturbing fact is that nearly half of suicides around the world take place in China and India. The mortal road incidents in China are backed up by security camera footage of drivers that intentionally drive to kill and tons of it. Furthermore, some drivers happen to put their cars into reverse then run over the poor pedestrian to make certain that the injured pedestrian never lives to tell their side of the story.
With just 16% of the world’s cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles, Asia accounts for more than half of the roughly 1.2 million traffic fatalities that the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates occur globally every year. More than 600,000 Asians are killed and another 9.4 million are severely injured in traffic accidents annually. Those statistics make Asia’s highways the meanest streets in the world.
In April of this year, a BMW was racing through a fruit market in Foshan, knocked down a 2-year-old girl and rolled over her head. As the girl’s grandmother screamed, “Stop! You’ve hit a child!” the BMW’s driver paused, then powered into reverse and backed up over the girl. The woman at the wheel drove forward once more, crushing the girl yet again. When she finally got out of the car, the unlicensed driver immediately offered the the family a deal: “Don’t say that I was driving the car,” she said. “Say it was my husband. We can give you money.”
What is being done about it?
Both China and Taiwan have passed legislative acts to help deal with hit-to-kill cases. Taiwan’s legislature reformed Article 6 of its Civil Code, which had long restricted the ability to bring civil lawsuits on behalf of the family of those that were killed. Meanwhile, China’s legislature has emphasized that multiple-hit cases should be treated as murders. Yet even when a driver hits a victim multiple times, it can be hard to prove the intent and causation—at least to satisfy Chinese laws and courts.
About Alex Noudelman
Alex Noudelman is a digital marketing expert at iRISEmedia. He received his Honors B.A. from York University and a Masters in Adolescent Education from D’Youville College.