2005 statistics show that in Virginia, red light running resulted in over 7,000 car crashes, at least 25 deaths, and more than 3,000 injuries. Nationwide, almost 900 people die and over 150,000 are injured ever year in automobile accidents which involve red light running. More than half of these deaths were pedestrians or passengers in vehicles who were struck by a vehicle running a red light.
Measures have been put in place such as red light cameras and increased police enforcement at certain intersections to reduce the occurrence of this dangerous driving habit. Improving driver awareness around the dangers of red light running has become imperative over the years as the rate of serious injuries and deaths has increased.
Research has shown that the presence of red light cameras have reduced the rate of red light running car crashes by an average of 30% at those intersections, and reduced red light violations by 40-50%.
What is the Hurry?
Approximately 96% of Americans fear being struck by another vehicle running a red light, although 20% of those drivers admit doing so in the last ten intersections, assigning the tendency to being “in a hurry” rather than aggressive driving or reasons around frustration. In fact, running a red light would only save the driver a few seconds off their trip, making this dangerous driving habit a truly unnecessary risk.
Red Light Running is a Dangerous Driving Habit
Distracted driving is a major cause of red light running and an enormous danger to other drivers as well as pedestrians and cyclists. Distracted drivers are more likely to fail to yield right of way to pedestrians, failing to come to a complete stop before turning right on red, or rushing through an intersection disregarding pedestrian signals.
Many drivers rush to get through an intersection when they notice the pedestrian walk timer counting down. Increasing speed to get through a yellow light is also very dangerous, puts you at risk unnecessarily, and wastes expensive gasoline. Making the decision to accelerate through a yellow light is making the conscious decision to put yourself and others at great risk to serious injury and death.
Caution should also be taken before accelerating when the traffic light turns green– take one second of pause to guarantee that another driver is not speeding through the intersection. Just because you have the right of way does not mean that other drivers are adhering to the law.
Have You Been Injured by a Driver Running a Red Light?
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured by an irresponsible driver who caused automobile accident by running a red light, you need a lawyer on your side to help you get full compensation for your pain and suffering. Contact the skilled attorneys at Whitehead & Chiocca today for a comprehensive, complimentary review of your case.