Running Red Lights Kills Hundreds

Millions upon millions of drivers pass through intersections with traffic lights every day.  We often do not think about the dangers associated with intersections because driving through intersections is second nature.  However, hundreds of people are killed every year by drivers running red lights.  In 2017, 890 people were killed in car accidents involving someone running a red light. In 2016, over 800 people were killed by drivers driving through red lights. On average, over two people die every day because of someone not obeying a red light. 

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that red light running is the leading cause of urban crashes in the United States. Deaths caused by red light running are increasing at more than three times the rate of increase for all other fatal crashes.  More people are injured in crashes caused by someone running a red light than any other crash type. 

Despite the obvious dangers associated with running a red light, more than half of Americans admit to running red lights. The extra amount of time saved by running a red light is not worth risking your life and someone else’s to save a few minutes. 

There is an ongoing debate concerning whether red light cameras make intersections safer and reduce the amount of running of red lights at intersections.  The cameras take pictures of cars entering the intersection after the light has turned red.  These drivers are sent a ticket from the city or county for the violation. 

Most studies confirm that fewer drivers attempt to beat red lights when there are cameras at intersections enforcing the law. However, the number of accidents at intersections with cameras may actually go up.   There are more rear end collisions at intersection with cameras because drivers may slam on their brakes to avoid a ticket. 

Red Light Swearing Match

 

After someone is injured by the negligence of another driver running a red light, it is not uncommon for the negligent driver to claim his light was green.  If both sides claim they had a green light and there are no independent witnesses, the insurance companies will refuse to accept their insured’s liability.  The injured party will be forced to file a lawsuit against the other driver.  The burden of proof is on the plaintiff, so winning a case at trial can be difficult if it is a swearing match between the two drivers.

Proving the Other Driver is at Fault

If you are injured because of a negligent driver, ask eyewitnesses to stay and give a statement to police.  If a witness refuses to stay, obtain the person’s name and contact information, so they can be contacted in the future to give a statement.  The police will interview independent witnesses if the drivers have conflicting statements.  The police will rely on independent witnesses to draw their conclusions in the police report.  A jury will likely do the same.  Jurors know that independent witnesses do not have anything to gain financially from their testimony unlike the drivers involved in the collision. 

If there are no witnesses to the car accident, security cameras may prove what happened.  Reach out to stores at the intersection to see if they have cameras that recorded the intersection.  You will want to reach out to the stores quickly before the camera footage is deleted. 

The O’Hara Law Firm has handled many cases involving accidents at intersections and defendants running red lights.  The O’Hara Law Firm has obtained compensation for people who had their claims denied by insurance companies because the other drivers claimed they did not run a red light. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the O’Hara Law Firm for a free consultation.  The O’Hara Law Firm represents clients on a contingency fee basis. Call us at 832-956-1138.

Posted in Car Accidents

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