Red Light Running As A Cause Of Fatal Accident Injuries

Red light running continues to be a serious traffic safety problem. As seen in many Chicago-area accidents, these traffic violations often result in violent collisions. One recent example of a driver who allegedly ran through a red light is seen in a Chicago fatal vehicle accident. In that fatal Park Manor crash, two people died and one person was critically injured in the two-vehicle collision.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, red light running has hit a 10-year high. As discussed in the August 29, 2019 press release titled “Red Light Running Deaths Hit 10 Year High,” these driving violations are leading to an increasing number of traffic accident deaths.

An excerpt from the press release:

The most recent crash data available shows 939 people were killed in red light running crashes in 2017 — a 10-year high and a 28% increase since 2012. With the number of red light running crashes on the rise, AAA calls for drivers to use caution when approaching signalized intersections, and for pedestrians and cyclists to stay alert when crossing the street.

Another statistic seen in the news release highlights the serious accidents that result from motorists blowing through red lights:

28% of crash deaths that occur at signalized intersections are the result of a driver running through a red light.

The news release also gives tips to drivers as to how avoid running red lights.

As seen in the news release, while the vast majority of drivers surveyed view running a red light as being very dangerous, many have “run through a red” when they could have safely stopped. As stated:

According to the AAA Foundation’s latest Traffic Safety Culture Index, 85% of drivers view red light running as very dangerous, yet nearly one in three say they blew through a red light within the past 30 days when they could have stopped safely. More than 2 in 5 drivers also say it is unlikely they’ll be stopped by police for running a red light. Nevertheless, it’s against the law and if a driver is involved in a deadly crash, it could send them to jail.

Of note, according to the statistics seen in the media release, the majority of those killed in collisions resulting from a driver disobeying traffic signals are not in the vehicle that ran through the red light.

Of particular concern is to how other motorists can avoid being hit as a driver runs a red light. These other motorists and passengers in their vehicles are vulnerable to being hurt in an accident, especially since they aren’t necessarily expecting the other driver to not stop at the stop light.

Other roads users are especially vulnerable when a driver breaks the law in this manner. Bicyclists and pedestrians are among those other road users who are especially vulnerable. 

The news release gives safety tips as to how bicyclists and pedestrians can avoid collisions in these instances. As seen in many DuPage County accidents that have been summarized on this site, often when a pedestrian or bicyclist is hit by a vehicle serious accident injuries result. These accidents are summarized under the “DuPage County pedestrian accidents” and “DuPage County bicycle accidents” categories.

There are several ways to discourage drivers from failing to stop at a stop light. One way is to install red light cameras. Another way is for more traffic law enforcement. Both of these methods can reduce the incidence of drivers running through red lights, especially if these methods are publicized or otherwise made known.

Many people view driving through a stop light as a reckless or careless act, especially in instances where it can put other drivers or road users in danger. For those that have been injured due to being hit by a vehicle that ran a red light, injuries can be (very) serious in nature. There are many reasons such collisions can lead to serious injuries. Perhaps the foremost reason is that such collisions usually occur at higher speeds. Drivers who wind up going through a red light are usually doing so at full speed, it not faster. As such, any resulting collision tends to be highly physically traumatic to all those involved in the collision.

For those injured due to the negligence of a driver who has run a red light – or for any other reason – the injured person may be able to collect injury compensation through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit. The personal injury lawyers at the Elman Joseph Law Group can help those injured realize the maximum potential compensation. Tony Elman, the Lead Trial Attorney at the Elman Joseph Law Group, is available for a free legal consultation to discuss the legal issues. He can be reached at 773-392-8182.

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