Last year, we discussed national crash figures that concluded a 17 percent increase in fatal crashes involving red light runners occurred from 2012 (696 deaths) to 2016 (811 deaths). Only one year later, fatal crashes caused by drivers who run red lights rose by 28 percent since 2012, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
In 2017, a total of 939 people were killed at signalized intersections due to drivers running red lights. The death toll in 2007, which was 914 fatalities, was previously marked as the highest, until it was topped in 2017. On average, passengers and occupants from other cars accounted for nearly half of all fatalities involving red light runners. Pedestrians and bicyclists account for more than five percent.
What are some reasons why drivers run red lights?
It's common knowledge that drivers run red lights either because they're in a hurry to get from point A to point B or they're distracted. Some drivers would rather take the risk of blowing through a yellow light than applying their brakes. Overall, the attitude behind red light running may be the real driving force.
Several drivers were polled in AAA's latest Traffic Safety Culture Index. Despite the majority of participants (85%) saying that they see running red lights as extremely dangerous, a third admitted to doing it within the last 30 days. Moreover, nearly half of the participants think it's unlikely they'll be caught by police.
The real problem is, if drivers think they can get away with running red lights, they'll be more likely to do it. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) red light cameras may curb this type of behavior. Research shows that it did in several large cities across the United States.
"Cameras increase the odds that violators will get caught, and well-publicized camera programs discourage would-be violators from taking those odds," said Jessica Cicchino, IIHS Vice President for Research. "Camera enforcement is a proven way to reduce red light running and save lives."
A car accident lawyer holding red light runners accountable
There are several red light cameras stationed throughout Providence — specifically encompassing the downtown area. Not only do these cameras deter drivers from running red lights, they can catch perpetrators in the act. When a crash occurs, the video footage may provide crucial evidence regarding how a crash happened and who was at fault. This is important because intersection crashes involving red light runners can be complex. In some cases, the driver who runs a red light is the one who gets broadsided.
That's why it's critical to speak to an experienced car accident attorney after a crash involving a red light runner. Attorney Mark B. Morse knows how to investigate these complex crashes and get results. To find out how he can help you maximize your compensation, contact the Law Office of Mark B. Morse, LLC today.