Red-light running still a major cause of fatal traffic accidents

Red-light running still a major cause of fatal traffic accidents

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.

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