It feels like people should never run red lights. It is perhaps the most basic rule of the road: When the light turns yellow, you slow down, and you come to a stop when it turns red.
However, statistics show that, as simple as this may seem, the rule is often broken. Every year, hundreds of people die in car accidents due to red light runners – over 800 in 2019 alone. Researchers commonly cite the fact that intersections are one of the most dangerous places you can drive, and this is part of the reason why.
So why does it happen? Here’s what you should know:
Speeding can create red light runners because people sometimes just realize that they don’t have time to stop. They know they’re not going to make it through the yellow light, but they speed up instead of slowing down so they don’t have to slam on the brakes.
Additionally, a lot of distracted drivers may simply not see a red light at all. Someone who is looking down at their phone to read a text message may glance at the light, see that it’s green, and then not look back up as it changes.
Naturally, you also have to deal with drivers who are under the influence of drugs and alcohol. These drivers are similar to distracted drivers in that they may not notice the light. But you will also have drivers who are so impaired that they are unaware of what they’re doing, and who will make serious errors.
If you have been injured in a car accident due to a red light runner, you may be able to seek financial compensation for your injuries.