AAA has published a report saying that the number of deaths caused by red-light runners hit a 10-year high in 2017 with a total of 939 people. This represents a 28% increase from 2012. California drivers should know that almost half of the victims were drivers or passengers of cars other than those of the red-light runners. The offenders themselves made up a little over a third of the victims.
It’s clear that lack of awareness is not the reason for these statistics. In a AAA survey, 85% of respondents agreed that driving through a red light is wrong and dangerous, yet a third admitted that they did it at least once in the previous 30 days. These crashes are sometimes caused by speeding while other times, they are the result of distracted driving.
Two in five drivers in that same survey said they don’t believe the police would ever pull them over for running a red light, so experts are looking for other ways to deter drivers from this unsafe behavior. Red-light cameras are one highly touted method. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, they can reduce red-light-related violations by some 40%.
Overall, traffic deaths have dropped, though not by much. The National Safety Council reported a 1% decrease in them from 2017 to 2018.
Those who survive motor vehicle accidents caused by red-light runners clearly have a case under tort law, but they may want to consult a lawyer to see if it’s worthwhile. A successful personal injury claim could cover losses like medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering, but victims who are partially to blame will have whatever amount they’re eligible for lowered. With a lawyer, they may strive for the maximum possible settlement with the insurance companies.