Imagine that you are driving toward an intersection and the light turns
yellow. You know that the red light to come is a long wait, so you speed
up to make it through the intersection. At the same time, a car traveling
in the opposite direction has pulled into the intersection and is waiting
to make a left turn.
That driver decides he has to complete his turn just before the light turns
red. The result is a predictable one. Two drivers have decided to pass
through an intersection at the last possible second and in doing so, collide
violently. For all of the unique hazards we face on California roads,
the most dangerous and deadly hazards are sometimes the most common ones.
Intersection crashes are a major problem in Los Angeles and nationwide,
and red-light running is usually to blame. According to the
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were 683 deaths in 2012 and another 133,000 injuries as a result
of crashes caused by drivers who ran a red light.
In some cases, running a red light can be an innocent misjudgment. If you
are nearing an intersection when the light turns yellow, you need to make
a split-second decision to slow down or keep going. Some people simply
make the wrong decision.
In other cases, however, drivers feel entitled to beat the red light because
they have someplace to be. Video footage of red-light-running crashes
often shows drivers performing speeding maneuvers that are clearly dangerous
and predictably disastrous.
As much as many drivers dislike them, red-light violation cameras are an
important safety tool to keep drivers honest. People tend to make more
cautious decisions if they know they are being monitored. An IIHS study
found that in large cities with red-light cameras,
fatal crashes caused by running red lights decreased 24 percent while all types of intersection
crashes decreased by 17 percent.
If you or a loved one was struck by a negligent driver who ran a red light
or otherwise drove dangerously, you do have options. Please share the
details of your accident with an experienced personal injury attorney.