According to a recently released report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the number fatalities due to motorists running red lights is at the highest point in a decade.
The study examined statistics of deadly motor vehicle accidents across the country between 2008 and 2017. According to the study, in 2009 715 people died as a result of a driver running a red light. By 2017, the number had increased by over 30 percent, up to 939.
Of those who died, over 50 percent were either passengers in one of the vehicles involved or were driving the vehicle that had the right of way. Additionally, five percent were either those on bicycles or pedestrians who got struck by a motorist who ran a red light. Although the numbers do not match up perfectly, the study said that about 35 percent of those who died were the motorists who ran the light.
While some of the reason for the hike in the number deaths is that people drive less during economic downturns, like last decade’s Great Recession, the American Automobile Association, or AAA, also blamed the numbers to some extent on distracted driving. Distracted drivers are, after all, less likely to react to or even see a red light.
However, the AAA also pointed to a separate survey which suggested that many Louisiana drivers may have the bad habit of trying to race through a yellow light or even intentionally going through a red light because it had just turned red and they were in a hurry. One of three drivers that was asked, admitted to engaging in this dangerous practice.
No matter why one does it, running a red light is both illegal and extremely dangerous. A motorist who causes a fatal accident by running a red light can be held accountable in a wrongful death lawsuit.