If a car or any type of vehicle enters an intersection after the traffic light has turned red, this is considered to be “running a red light.” Some people run red lights because they are not paying attention. Most red light runners, however, do so because they are simply in a hurry. They do not want to stop and get stuck at the light and so they fly through the intersection on the red. This is dangerous driving behavior and it is even more so when you consider the fact that most red-light runners are also speeding. As such, red light accidents can be devastating. The damage and injuries sustained in these accidents can be severe. Red light runners should not just be held accountable for breaking the law, but they should also be held accountable for the injuries they have caused to others due to their reckless driving maneuvers. This is done through bringing a personal injury claim. Injury victims can bring a claim against the at-fault driver or the insurance company for the at-fault driver seeking compensation for the harm they have suffered.
Red Light Accidents
Red light running happens due to a variety of circumstances. Yes, most of the time, a red light runner is a driver in a hurry. In more recent years, however, it has become alarmingly common for a red-light runner to be a distracted driver. The driver is busy texting, talking on the phone, or otherwise engaged in any number of distractions and does not notice the light has turned red.
Other times, a person may run a red light because they do not think they can safely come to a complete stop in time. In many, if not the majority, of these cases, the driver cannot come to a stop in time because they were speeding. When you are speeding, it reduces the amount of time you have to safely come to a stop. When speeding, a driver will likely have to confront whether it would be better to slam on the brakes or run the red light.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the running of a red light, running red lights is dangerous, indeed. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that, in 2020, 928 people were killed in crashes involving red light running. That same year, IIHS reports that an estimated 116,000 people were injured in red light accidents. It is clear that red light running is a danger that is costing far too many people their lives and well-being.
In an effort to discourage red light running, red light cameras have become more common. Police officers cannot, after all, be expected to be at every intersection policing red-light runners. Red light cameras give law enforcement the ability to have a presence at the intersection without actually being present. The numbers seem to show that red light camera are effective at combatting the dangers of red light running. The IIHS has conducted a study that showed that red light cameras reduced the fatal red light running crash rate of large cities by 21 percent and the rate of all types of fatal crashes at signalized intersections by 14 percent.