We see it all the time: drivers who speed up when a traffic light turns yellow, or ignore red lights altogether.
When drivers who are in a hurry fail to uphold their duty of care and stop when a traffic light turns red, other road users can be seriously injured.
Red light runners on the rise
According to an article by The Drive, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the American Automobile Association (AAA), Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and the National Safety Council are advocating for more red light cameras.
This comes as a response to an upsurge of traffic deaths caused by red light runners. Between 2012 and 2016, the fatality rate increased by 17 percent. In 2016, the fatality rate rose to 811, which marked the most deaths caused by red-light runners since 2007 (which had 914 deaths). Moreover, more than half of those killed were pedestrians, bicyclists, and other road users who were not at fault.
What can be done to mitigate the problem?
The IIHS blames the 21 percent decrease in red light cameras - from 533 programs in 2012 to 421 in 2018. Indiana currently has no state or city ordinances permitting the use of red light cameras, nor are there any cameras in place. In 2015, a proposal was introduced to install speed cameras throughout Indiana, but there are currently no programs being implemented.
However, the state can benefit from implementing red light cameras, as they can be used for the following purposes:
- Catching drivers who ignore traffic signals
- Catching drivers who speed or drive recklessly
- Catching drivers who block intersections
- Catching drivers who drive past stopped school buses
- Catching hit-and-run drivers
In many cases, proving negligence in an intersection accident can be complex. In the event of a crash caused by a red light runner, red light cameras can provide crucial evidence in a car accident claim.
In the meantime, there are steps you can take to build your claim after an accident with a red light runner:
- If you're able to, take photos of the crash scene. This can help provide clues as to how and why the accident occurred.
- Get contact information for witnesses who can support your claim.
- Call the police and remain at the crash scene until they arrive. A law enforcement officer will examine the crash scene and put together a detailed accident report.
- Seek medical attention. Even if your injuries seem minor, symptoms can take days to appear. Seeking prompt medical attention can also help the outcome of your claim.
After you have followed these steps, you will need an experienced auto accident attorney on your side. When reporting the accident to your insurance carrier, keep your comments to a minimum and refrain from speaking to the other driver's insurance company. Let the attorneys at Vaughan and Vaughan handle the rest.
If you've been injured in a crash, contact our law firm, located in Lafayette, and find out how we can help you.