Our personal injury attorneys often discuss the wide range of accidents that take place on Illinois highways, interstates, and larger roadways, as well as the outcomes these accidents have on the individuals involved. Interestingly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) “Traffic Safety Report” released that in a recent polling, 97% of drivers feel that their safety is at risk when they are driving on smaller roadways, side streets, and intersections.
After looking into additional traffic safety statistics from NHTSA, we found that in 2010, there were more than 2.3 million reported intersection-related crashes throughout the country, resulting in more than 7,770 fatalities and up to 730,000 injuries. One of the biggest causes of these accidents happens to be one of the most dangerous and costly problems that exists on roadways today: red-light running.
Red-light running is a serious intersection safety issue, causing almost 1,000 deaths in 2010 alone. In fact, deaths caused by red-light running are increasing at more than three times the rate of increase for all other fatal crashes. It is important to note that half of the people killed in red-light running are not the signal violators, but rather the drivers and pedestrians that are hit by motorists that drove through red lights. Further statistics show that an average of 3.2 red light violations occur per hour, ultimately costing the public an estimated $14 billion every year.
An example of a typical red-light accident occurred two weeks ago in the southwest Chicago suburbs when a 59-year-old driver was traveling on a small roadway when she ran a red light, drove into a median and ran a second red light. Her vehicle struck a delivery truck that caused it to roll on its side. The truck driver was seriously injured and later died at a local hospital.
Because of the authorization and installation of red light cameras at various intersections and roadway locations, incidents of red-light running are slowly decreasing. Data across the state shows that the use of these cameras is protecting the public by changing driving behavior, deterring drivers from breaking the law, reducing accidents, and most importantly, saving lives.
While traffic safety cameras have gained much support in Illinois, based on the above report, accidents involving red-light running do continue to happen on a regular basis. Our law firm wants to provide readers with a few important safety reminders that can help prevent these accidents:
-Running a red light can happen to anyone who drives. 56% of Americans admit to running red lights, sometimes accidentally, and other times intentionally.
-Red-light running is often a result of aggressive driving. Many drivers traveling over the speed limit end up running a red light simply because they could not stop in time for it. Therefore, driving at the appropriate speed will help decrease the risk of an accident occurring.
-Most people run red lights because they are in a hurry. In reality, running a red light only saves seconds and is not worth the risk of being in an accident.
Though many agencies, communities, and motorists combat red-light running each day, many of these accidents often occur as the result of careless or negligent motorists. Our lawyers at Levin & Perconti are willing to assist you if you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries, medical expenses, or property damage as a result of a red-light accident. To find out if legal recourse may be available to you, please contact us for more information.