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Red Light Auto Accidents

Casey Woodruff
stoplight

When a driver runs a red light, a serious and even deadly car accident can occur.  According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), “red-light running is a serious intersection safety issue across the country,” and it’s a primary cause of fatal traffic collisions in the Chicago area.

What do you need to know about red light auto accidents? In addition to learning ways to prevent these dangerous crashes, it’s important to know that an experienced Aurora auto accident attorney can help you to seek financial compensation for your injuries.

Getting the Facts About Red-Light Running

According to data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 2.3 million accidents occur in intersections every year. Those collisions lead to nearly 8,000 fatalities and more than 700,000 serious injuries that require treatment in an emergency department. We can attribute nearly 800 deaths to those crashes.

Given the seriousness of red light crashes, the NHTSA emphasizes how important it is to understand what red-light running is and how it leads to serious and fatal accidents. The FHWA defines red-light running as the following:

  • When there’s a “permissive yellow” rule, a driver can enter the intersection during the “entire yellow interval.” However, a red-light violation occurs when a “driver enters the intersection after the onset of red.” In other words, if the light is yellow, you can enter the intersection, but if the light turns red before you enter the intersection, then you’ve violated the law.
  • When there’s a “restrictive yellow” rule, the terms become stricter. Indeed, under such a rule a driver cannot be in the intersection at all if the light is red, and a “violation occurs if the driver has not cleared the intersection after the onset of red.”

 While most of us know it’s not a good idea to run a red light, a high percentage of American drivers do it anyway.  A recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 94 percent of drivers find it “unacceptable to go through a red light if it’s possible to stop safely,” yet “36 percent reported doing so in the last 30 days.”

Seeking Compensation for a Red Light Car Crash

In case you haven’t noticed any red light cameras in the Chicago area, we’ll tell you a little bit about how they work. In short, they “automatically photograph vehicles that go through red lights,” according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

A recent IIHS study indicated that “red light violations are reduced significantly with cameras,” given that they serve as deterrents for aggressive drivers. Indeed, a 2011 report suggested that red light cameras actually can reduce the rate of fatal crashes by nearly 25 percent. The IIHS also suggests that one of the best pieces of evidence that a car accident victim can use when filing a claim related to red-light running is a photo from a red light camera. It’s important to remember that your case likely will have many components, and you should always seek advice from an aggressive Aurora car accident lawyer.

If another driver’s negligence caused a severe collision in which you were injured, you deserve to be compensated. Contact an advocate at Woodruff Johnson & Evans to learn more about our services.

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