Traffic lights are legally binding instructions for drivers, not suggestions. Yet, a surprising number of drivers seem to treat red lights as just that, choosing to run a light if it’s close or blowing through it completely if it’s late and no one’s around. This type of carelessness can have serious consequences, as seen by the number of red-light crashes in the United States.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a red-light accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Take some time to talk to the team at Burns, Cunningham & Mackey and learn about your options. Call us at 800-574-4332 to get started.
They Are More Common Than You Think
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that many drivers run red lights. Although 86% of respondents in a 2019 survey indicated that it’s very dangerous to run red lights, 31% of respondents said they had done so in the previous month. Considering that many people may have lied about running a red light, that is bad news for others on the road. These crashes are fairly common, as many crashes have “failure to adhere to traffic signals” as a primary or contributing cause.
Injuries Tend to Be More Severe
Not only do lots of drivers put themselves and others at risk by running red lights, but the car accidents that are caused by running a red light have the potential to cause serious or fatal injuries. In 2019 alone, red light accidents caused over 800 deaths and thousands more injuries. The IIHS reports that over 143,000 injuries occurred in red-light running collisions. That’s millions of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related expenses.
Drivers Violate Their Obligation to Others on the Road
In a crash, you have to prove liability to seek compensation. This involves establishing a duty of care, proving that one party violated that duty of care, and showing how that violation led to your injuries. Simply by being on the road, other drivers automatically have a duty of care to other drivers and passengers. A driver violates that duty of care when they run a red light, giving victims a chance to establish liability and fight for compensation.
This is true whether or not the other driver intentionally ran a red light. In some cases, it’s obvious. A driver doesn’t want to stop and thinks they have plenty of time before other drivers enter the intersection, so they fly through a red light. In others, it’s less clear.
For example, consider a driver who comes up to a red light with the intention of turning red. Instead of stopping, checking, and then turning, they roll through the intersection with a cursory glance to the left. In doing so, they fail to see a pedestrian crossing from the right, and they hit them.
By entering the intersection and turning without stopping, they have run a red light. Distracted drivers may also unintentionally run red lights. Whether it’s accidental or intentional, the driver who does not obey the traffic lights has some liability.
Cameras and Signal Timing Can Reduce the Risk of Accidents
Researchers have looked for ways to decrease red-light running accidents, due to the high rate of injuries and fatalities. Ensuring that yellow lights are long enough has had a positive effect on crash rates. Red-light cameras have also driven accident numbers down, as drivers know they are more likely to get a ticket.
Injured Victims May Be Entitled to Compensation
When someone is injured because a driver runs a red light, it’s likely that they are entitled to some compensation. Depending on the details of the accident, a victim may be able to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages at work, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
Consult Burns, Cunningham & Mackey for Help with Your Claim
We know a red-light running accident can leave you with severe injuries, mental trauma, and financial stress. Our team is here to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Let’s set up a time to talk more about your accident and your legal options. Contact us online or call our office at 800-574-4332.