In 2017, the most recent year with complete crash data, 939 deaths were caused by drivers running red lights. This was the highest that the number had been in 10 years. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that the number of red-light running crash deaths in Colorado and across the U.S. continues to rise. In 65% of these cases, the individual who is killed is not the at-fault driver.
Besides drivers, pedestrians and cyclists also need to be aware of how they can protect themselves against red-light runners. It all begins with staying alert. Drivers, for their part, should make it a habit to not jump out into the intersection the moment a light turns green. They should pause and then accelerate while looking both ways.
When approaching an intersection, drivers should try to determine if a green light is about to turn yellow. They can do this by checking to see if the pedestrian crossing signal displays a flashing orange hand. When they enter an intersection, drivers should hover over the brake or tap it a few times to alert the people driving behind them.
Pedestrians and cyclists can be alert if they eliminate distractions like headphones. They should not cross until drivers have made a full stop. Ideally, people on foot or bikes should look at drivers and try to be in well-lit areas.
Running a red light is a clear form of negligence, and the drivers who do it will be to blame for any car accidents they cause. As for the victims, they may be partially to blame, but that will not necessarily bar them from recovering damages. To understand their options, victims may want a lawyer to evaluate the case. Most injury attorneys can hire third parties, such as medical experts and crash investigators, to help strengthen a case.