Red Light Deaths Going Up
September 26, 2019
In 2017, drivers running red lights killed nearly 1,000 pedestrians and bicyclists – and caused thousands of other injuries. This is the highest the number has been in the last 10 years, so the American Automobile Association (AAA) is urging drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians alike to use caution and pay attention at traffic signals.
According to the AAA, drivers who run red lights kill more than two people each day. These deaths are 100% preventable, but reckless and irresponsible behind-the-wheel behaviors allow them to continue happening. Since 2012, the number of people killed in red light accidents has gone up nearly 30%, indicating a serious nationwide problem.
The AAA oundation found that:
- Almost one-half of the people killed in red light accidents were passengers or riders in other vehicles, and more than 5% were cyclists or pedestrians;
- 35% of individuals killed were the drivers of vehicles running red lights, and:
- 28% of all crash deaths that happen at intersections with traffic lights are the result of drivers running red lights
Despite 85% of drivers polled saying they think running a red light is “dangerous”, nearly one-third admit to running one within the last 30 days. More than one-third says the chances of getting stopped by police for running red lights is slim-to-none.
Preventing Red Light Accidents and Deaths
Enforcement is one of the most effective ways to prevent deadly red light accidents from happening, but it is simply impossible to monitor each and every intersection. Together drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists can take precautions to help guard against these incidents as well.
Here are just a few of the AAA’s safety and prevention tips:
- Drivers should tap their brakes a couple times before coming to a complete stop at a red light. This helps get the attention of others on the road;
- Keep a watchful eye on “stale” lights, or ones that have been green for a long time. These traffic lights are more likely to turn yellow;
- Drivers need to be prepared to stop – by taking their foot off the gas and hovering over the brake pedal – before getting to a light;
- Pedestrians and cyclists should stay visible and if possible, walk in well-lit areas, and:
- Before crossing the street, wait a few seconds to ensure everyone has come to a complete stop
Increasing enforcement efforts, like installing red light cameras, make it more likely to catch drivers who run red lights, putting their own – and others’ – lives at risk.
When someone is injured because a driver runs a red light, medical bills – and days away from work – can pile up quickly. After an accident, it is a good idea to talk to a lawyer and consider filing a legal claim to cover damages. If you would like to speak with an experienced attorney, someone at our firm can help. Please contact a representative directly.
Reading Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Represent Victims of Automobile Accidents
If you were injured in an automobile accident, please contact the Reading personal injury attorneys at Galfand Berger. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.