Deaths from Running Red Lights Hit a 10-Year High
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that more than two people are killed every day in crashes caused by drivers running red lights. When a motorist gets impatient, is in a hurry, or is driving while distracted, he or she may speed through an intersection and put innocent lives at risk, including other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists.
The most recent data from 2017 reveals a disturbing trend across the country. Crashes from motorists running red lights resulted in 939 deaths in 2017, a 10-year high, and a 28 percent increase in just five years.
Reckless drivers who run red lights are responsible for 28 percent of all crash deaths that occur at intersections with traffic signals. And while it is the responsibility of motorists to obey all traffic laws and stop at an intersection when a red light is displayed, other motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists are being urged to stay vigilant and alert when entering an intersection or crossing the street. The research also found that 46 percent of fatalities in red-light running crashes were passengers in the other vehicle, while drivers who ran the red light comprised 35 percent of deaths.
Red-light running is still one of the most common causes of car accidents every day. The disconnect between knowing it is wrong, and choosing to run a red light anyway is striking. AAA also found that 85 percent of drivers believe red-light running is dangerous, but a third of respondents in the study also admitted to knowingly running a red light within the past month.
While external circumstances such as being late for work or other activity may influence a driver’s decision to run a red light, some drivers do it because they believe they won’t face any consequences like being pulled over by police.
Red Light Cameras Can Help
One remedy may be red light cameras. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) found that cameras reduced the rate of fatal crashes caused by red-light running by 21 percent. “Cameras increase the odds that violators will get caught, and well-publicized camera programs discourage would-be violators from taking those odds,” said Jessica Cicchino, IIHS Vice President for Research.
Along with red light cameras, driver behavior can significantly lessen the amount of red light running crashes and fatalities. Along with publishing its research findings, AAA also recommended drivers prepare to stop when approaching an intersection, use good judgment, especially if a light has been green for an extended period, and take a moment to look both ways after a light turns green before entering the intersection.
Contact a Connecticut Car Accident Lawyer if You’ve Been Hurt
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a reckless motorist who chose to run a red light, you could be owed significant compensation for the harm you’ve suffered. Call the Connecticut car accident lawyers with Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers today at (203) 397-1283 and schedule a free consultation.