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Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorneys > Blog > Auto Accidents > The Dangers of Running Red Lights

The Dangers of Running Red Lights


Most of us see it on a regular basis. We’re approaching an intersection when we notice another vehicle attempting to speed through a yellow light, but failing to make it in time. In some cases, running a red light doesn’t cause any harm, with the parties able to avoid a collision. The results of such reckless driving, however, are often serious, with other drivers who are legally following the directions of the traffic lights suddenly struck by the other vehicle. Such behavior is thought to cause thousands of injuries and deaths every year in the U.S.

What is Red Light Running? 

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) defines running a red light as entering an intersection after the traffic signal light has turned red. These drivers should be differentiated from those who are inadvertently in an intersection when the light changes because they are waiting to turn left, as these individuals don’t fall under the definition of red light runners. Other examples of red light running include turning right on a red light before coming to a complete stop and turning right at a red light in an intersection where doing so is forbidden. Unfortunately, although these behaviors are violations of Florida traffic law, they still occur at an alarming rate. Some studies indicate that a red light is run every 20 minutes at intersections.

Running Red Lights is Dangerous

 Running red lights can cause a wide range of collisions, including everything from head-on crashes to t-bone collisions. Unfortunately, these are some of the most dangerous types of collisions in which a person can be involved. For instance, according to the IIHS, around 127,000 people were injured in accidents caused by drivers who ran red lights in 2021 alone. During that same year, 1,109 people lost their lives in crashes caused by red light running, with half of those fatalities affecting pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers who were hit by the red light runner.

Why Drivers Run Red Lights 

The dangers of running a red light are generally known to everyone. This doesn’t, however, stop drivers from engaging in this reckless activity. Most run red lights because they are in a hurry, while others do so because they think they can beat a yellow light and avoid waiting at the intersection. Many drivers, however, misjudge the timing of these lights, resulting in a red light crash. Speeding has also been linked to red light running in the U.S., as driving at excessive speeds makes it harder to stop in time to avoid running a red light. Other common causes of red light running include distracted driving, with many drivers simply not noticing that they are approaching a red light, and driving under the influence, which impairs a driver’s reasoning.

Were You Hurt in a Red Light Accident? 

Drivers who run red lights and who hurt others as a result can and should be held liable for their actions. For help recovering compensation from the driver who caused your own intersection crash, please call 954-566-9919 and set up a meeting with one of the dedicated Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers at Boone & Davis today.



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