The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently issued a report on red light running and its impact on car accidents, and the findings may come as a shock to some. More than 14 people are killed every week on U.S. roadways by motorists who drive through red lights. Data collected from 2012 to 2017 reveals that there are almost 950 fatalities annually linked to red light running, which is a 10-year high. Thousands more suffer injuries in crashes under similar circumstances. Additional data shows that these incidents are preventable, and usually the result of careless or reckless driving.
Fortunately, Florida law protects victims by providing legal options to recover monetary damages. A Miami car accidents attorney can assist with the process, but you might find the following information useful.
Statistics on Red Light Running
Additional statistics from the AAA study reveal that:
- 28% of all deadly crashes that occur at intersections are a result of a driver running through a signal or stop sign;
- Almost half of the fatalities were occupants of the other vehicle, while only 35% of deaths were the drivers who failed to stop;
- Though 85% of survey respondents say that red light running is extremely dangerous, yet 42% of all motorists admit to doing so within the last 30 days; and,
- Every year, around 137,000 victims are injured in accidents where a motorist disregards a red light or stop sign.
Reasons Drivers Fail to Stop
As you would expect, the most common reason motorists blow through red lights and stop signs is that they are in a hurry. In addition to purposefully disregarding traffic laws, drivers may also engage in negligent acts, such as:
- Fatigue or “zoning out” on a long trip;
- Driving while distracted by texting or talking on the phone;
- Operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs; and,
- Failing to see a traffic signal.
Your Legal Options as an Injured Victim
After reviewing the top reasons drivers fail to stop, you can see that carelessness is behind many of them. If you suffered injuries, you can recover compensation by showing that this negligence was the direct cause of the crash in which you were injured. It is possible to recover for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and many other losses.
However, the situation is different if you were also negligent in some way. Florida follows the law of comparative fault, which can reduce your compensation based upon the amount of liability attributed to your actions. Running a red light is certainly negligent, but you will receive less if you were speeding, made an improper lane change, or texting at the time.
Trust Your Case to a Miami Car Accidents Lawyer
To learn more about your legal options as the victim of a crash linked to red light running, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA. We are happy to set up a no-cost case evaluation for you at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL. After reviewing your case, we can provide additional details about your rights.