You’re in the first car in line at the intersection, and the light is red. You stay off your phone so that you don’t get distracted, watching that light. When it finally turns green, you press the gas and drive into the intersection, happy to be on your way.
All of this sounds like you have made the proper decision, and you have technically followed the law. But there is a risk to blindly trusting a green light, and it is usually wiser to check for cross traffic, even when you have the right of way.
Red light runners are frequent
The problem, of course, is that red light runners are fairly common. One report found nearly 1,000 fatalities caused by these drivers in a single year. There are likely many more injuries, as well, and there could be cases where drivers ran a red light but there was no proof that they did so. Reports from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety claim that there were 116,000 injuries in 2020.
So what can you do? The authorities are working to try to reduce these numbers, often by using red light cameras. These have been shown to at least cut back on the number of people who run lights because they know that it’s easier to be caught. But the best thing for you to do is to simply treat the intersection the way you would a four-way stop. When the light turns green, take a second to look both ways and then drive into the intersection. That second could be all that it takes to save your life.
What are your options?
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a red light runner, then it’s important for you to know about all of your legal options to seek compensation for your medical bills.