The Truth About Car Accidents Caused by Red-Light Running
One of the first things people learn about driving is what the colored lights on a traffic signal mean. Even children understand that a green light means “go” and a red light means “stop,” but despite how widely understood this is, far too many car crashes every year are caused by drivers running red lights.
According to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, 6,114 car crashes involved red-light running in 2018, an 18.4% increase from 2014. The U.S. Department of Transportation cites red-light running as being the most common cause of all car crashes in urban environments, occurring approximately once every twenty minutes in those settings. Not only do these types of crashes often cause serious injuries or death to drivers and occupants of other vehicles, people like bicyclists and pedestrians are also very common victims of these types of accidents.
Drivers run red lights for many different reasons. Often, the driver is in a hurry or is distracted and either doesn’t see the traffic light or willfully chooses to ignore it. Or a speeding driver might suddenly realize they’re approaching a red light and aren’t able to stop safely in time, so they choose to run the red light instead. Sometimes, they’re caused by drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The tragic reality is that not a single one of these reasons is a good reason. Every single accident caused by one of these reasons was an accident that could have been prevented.
Red-light runners are a prime example of how even good drivers (or responsible bicyclists and pedestrians) can end up being car accident victims. They’re the ones who are following the rules like they’re supposed to, only to end up being hurt by someone else who isn’t. Unfortunately, there isn’t much people can do to protect themselves from these types of accidents beyond being vigilant while proceeding through intersections, being extra watchful for drivers who look like they might not stop for a red light. Instead, the burden for preventing red-light car accidents is more on the drivers who cause them. So many of these accidents could be prevented by simply obeying the speed limit, being aware of your surroundings, and following the rules of the road.
Car accidents caused by drivers running red lights can have devastating consequences. If you’ve been injured in a red-light car accident, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a car accident lawyer. At a time like this, it’s only natural to have questions and a lawyer will be able to help you understand your legal options. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to get help from a lawyer experienced in helping the victims of Michigan car accidents. Contact us today to get started.
Image credit: iStock / wWeiss Lichtspiele