Serious Auto Accidents Occur from Running Stop Lights By Foley Law Firm on June 21, 2017

A stop sign at an intersectionThe attorneys at our Scranton law firm know that serious car accidents can have tragic consequences. This is why why always fight diligently on the behalf of the injured and their loved ones, making sure that they receive sound legal guidance when seeking damages against negligent drivers.

Every year, many preventable collisions occur because a driver runs a red light. We'd like to consider the severity of these collisions, why causes them to happen, and how you can stay safe while on the road.

Statistics on Running Stop Lights

According to numbers from the Federal Highway Administration, approximately 2.5 millions auto accidents occur in intersections every year. This accounts for 40 percent of all crashes in a given year. Other statistics suggest that up to 50 percent of all serious collisions occur in intersections. What's more, it's been estimated that 20 percent of all auto accident fatalities occur in intersections.

With regard to running red lights, an estimated 165,000 collisions each year are attributed to running a red light. On average, there are between 700 and 800 fatalities every year because of running a stop light.

Types of Collisions from Running Red Lights

If you do run a red light, you increase your risk of serious car accidents and collisions. This is especially true of dangerous t-bone and side collisions occurring at four-way stops. The injuries caused by these kinds of crashes can be quite severe.

In addition to major impacts with other vehicles, running a red light increases the chances of striking a vulnerable bicyclist or pedestrian.

Reasons People Might Run Red Lights

There are many reasons why people run red lights or ignore red lights. Here are some reasons according to drivers and law enforcement officials who have investigated stop light collisions:

  • Texting while driving
  • Using a cellphone while driving
  • Driver distraction
  • Drunk driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Speeding
  • Impatience/running late
  • Stop light is obscured or poorly placed
  • Poor weather

These reasons do not justify the harm that may be caused by a person running a stop light.

Trying to Beat Yellow Lights

One of the most common reasons people run red lights is that they are speeding to beat a yellow light. Yellow lights are meant to caution drivers of an impending stop light. Rather than speeding up, it's important that drivers slow down as they approach the light. When drivers speed up to beat a yellow, they may wind up barreling though a red light and potentially harming motorists, pedestrians, or bicyclists.

Accidents from Malfunctioning Stop Lights

In addition to all of the above issues, there are some instances in which malfunctioning traffic signals lead to problems in an intersection. In these cases, the light malfunction could cause drivers to be given the incorrect light, signaling them to proceed through and intersection. These instances are rare, but should they occur, it's important that local governments and traffic authorities be held accountable.

Tips for Remaining Safe on the Road

Use common sense while behind the wheel. Do not text while drive your distract yourself when driving. Always slow down at yellow lights within reason and come to a complete stop at red lights. When your traffic light turns green, it may be a good idea to look both ways before proceeding in order to avoid any motorists who may have run a red light traveling perpendicular to your vehicle.

Learn More About Your Legal Options

For more information about your legal options following a serious auto accident or vehicle collision, be sure to contact our team of personal injury attorneys today. We will work with you to help you receive just compensation for injuries and other losses sustained as a result of an accident.

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