Drivers in China are known for intentionally killing the people that they hit accidentally. Pedestrians are hit by the driver unintentionally but then the driver panics and runs over the person again and again to make sure they are dead. The reason for this phenomenon is an incentive system that makes the consequences far less punitive if the pedestrian is killed rather than just wounded. A driver would have to pay for that person’s injury for the rest of the victim’s life if the victim survives. If they don’t survive the driver only has to pay a one time lump sum to the family.

It seems like a crazy urban legend: In China, drivers who have injured pedestrians will sometimes then try to kill them. And yet not only is it true, it’s fairly common; security cameras have regularly captured drivers driving back and forth on top of victims to make sure that they are dead. The Chinese language even has an adage for the phenomenon: “It is better to hit to kill than to hit and injure.”




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