Peak in Fatalities from Running Red LightsOctober 16, 2019
Running a red light may get you more than just a ticket, according to a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The study found that the number of people that were killed by motorists who drove through red lights reached a 10-year high, resulting in at least two fatalities per day in the United States. While it is unclear exactly what caused the increase, it is clear that many of these tragic accidents could have been avoided if drivers prioritized safety over rushing through a traffic light.
Researchers from AAA examined fatality statistics from 2008 to 2017. In 2009, there were 715 people killed by motorists who ran red lights. In 2017, that number increased by 31 percent to 939 fatalities. Approximately 35 percent of the fatalities involved a driver who ran a red light. Roughly five percent of the people killed in red light running accidents were pedestrians and cyclists.
According to AAA’s director of traffic safety advocacy and research, it is likely that many of these accidents are caused by distracted driving. Too many drivers and pedestrians are distracted by their phones, whether they are making a phone call, reading a text, or checking social media. This behavior is a major contributor to the rise in accidents related to running red lights. However, there are other factors that may have contributed to this increase.
A percentage of survey respondents admitted to driving through a red light within the past month. This suggested that they were aware of what they were doing, which means that they were not simply distracted. Another possible explanation for the increase is the fact that more people are driving long distances than they were 10 years ago when the country was going through a major economic recession. With more drivers on the road, there is an increased risk for crashes.
Red light cameras have been proven effective at reducing red light running and preventing fatal accidents. When approaching a traffic light that has been green for a long time, be aware that the light will likely turn yellow within a few seconds. Drivers who arrive first at a red light should always pause for a second or two when the light turns green in case the motorist coming from the other direction tries to run through the red light.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Fatal Car Accidents
If you were involved in a tragic car accident with a motorist who ran through a red light, you are urged to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We understand how devastating this can be, and we will pursue the maximum financial benefits you deserve, including funeral expenses. Our compassionate legal team will not stop fighting for you until justice has been served. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.