What You Need to Know about Red Light Accidents

A red traffic lightIntersections are dangerous places when it comes to driving. In recent years, one-fourth of all traffic deaths and roughly half of all traffic injuries each year happen at intersections. In fact, the federal government reports about 2.5 million intersection accidents every year. Roughly 40 percent of all traffic accidents occur at intersections, the majority of those involving a vehicle turning left across traffic. However, where there are intersections, there often are traffic signals, and where there are traffic signals, there is someone running a red light. The results are frequently deadly. If you have been hurt in a red light accident, you should call one of our Atlanta car accident lawyers immediately.

Running A Red Light Is A Deadly Business

On average, red-light running kills more than two people every day each year. Traffic deaths caused by running red lights hit 939 in 2017, a 10-year high that was up 28 percent from just 5 years before in 2012. That number declined slightly to 899 fatalities in 2018, the most recent year for which final data is available. Of those deaths, 53 were pedestrians or bicyclists. Accidents resulting from running a red light have a significant impact on accident numbers and deaths. For example:

  • Nearly 30 percent of traffic accident fatalities that occur at intersections with a traffic signal result from a driving running a red light 
  • 46 percent of fatalities in accidents caused by red-light running are passengers or people in vehicles not running the red light.
  • Another five percent of fatalities in crashes caused by red-light running are bicyclists or pedestrians
  • About 35 percent of fatalities in red-light running accidents are the drivers who ran the red light

Drivers running red lights cause about 165,000 accidents every year, leading to hundreds of traffic fatalities and thousands of injuries. In addition to the 899 deaths in accidents caused by someone running a red light in 2018, an estimated 139,000 people were injured in those crashes.

Oddly enough, putting a traffic signal at an intersection actually tends to increase the number of accidents at that intersection. While one study found no overall increase in the total number of accidents after adding a traffic signal at an intersection, it found that rear-end accidents and “other” accidents, including head-on collisions, hitting bicyclists, and hitting fixed roadside structures or objects, increased significantly. Side-impact accidents decreased significantly. However, the federal government has found that traffic signals at an intersection can lead to a significant rise in the frequency of accidents, particularly rear-end collisions. Side-impact or “right-angle” accidents tend to be more severe than rear-end accidents, making traffic engineers more willing to use traffic signals to reduce side-impact accidents at the cost of increasing rear-end accidents. However, if an intersection does not have a high rate of side-impact crashes, putting in a traffic signal can actually cause more accidents at that intersection.

Injured By A Driver Running A Red Light? Contact The Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys of Slappey & Sadd

If you have been injured in a traffic accident by someone who ran a red light, you likely are entitled to compensation for your injuries and other damages. Contact the attorneys at Slappey & Sadd for a free consultation to discuss your case. Our attorneys serve the entire state of Georgia, including Smyrna, Decatur, and Marietta. 

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