Traffic signals exist to keep things running smoothly and to decrease the number of accidents. All of us have seen a driver, absentmindedly or intentionally, run a red traffic light. In all likelihood, you’ve also seen a fair share of accidents due to this behavior. In fact, more than 150,000 motorists and pedestrians are injured every year in accidents involving a red light runner. About 7,000 people are killed in red light crashes annually. While these statistics are drawn from police records and DMV accident reports, many people who run a red light have not been caught or been involved in an accident. It is important to understand the place that running a red light or other traffic signal has in accident causation and what a driver can do to avoid a collision and resultant debilitating injuries.
Los Angeles Traffic Signal Truck Accident Injury Lawyer
David Azizi has helped many clients injured by a negligent driver who disregards a red light signal. He is acutely aware of the havoc this type of behavior causes and its disastrous consequences. For some clients, it means extended stays in the hospital, high medical expenses and lost wages. For families who have lost a loved one, it means the loss of financial support and a lifetime of grief. While grief is not easily remedied, the loss of support can be with a wrongful death claim. David can be reached at (800) 991-5292. Either call this number or reach out to him online to schedule a free case evaluation. David wins 98 percent of all cases, so putting your trust in someone who is dedicated to fighting for his client’s rights is a wise choice.
Why Do Drivers Disregard Traffic Signals?
About 56 percent of drivers say that they disregard traffic signals some of the time. Often they are trapped behind another vehicle at a yellow light and misjudge the timing before the yellow light turns red. Other times, they are simply in a hurry and believe their time is more valuable than others. Whatever the reason, disregarding a traffic signal is reckless at best. In still other instances, the person crossing through the red light is speeding and unable to stop in time.
Speeding puts a driver in the uncomfortable, but avoidable, position of deciding whether it is better to hit the brakes or to keep going. If they hit the brakes, a rear-end accident will probably occur. If they keep going, there is a good chance they will cause an intersection crash. There is no winner in such cases.
In some cases, running a red light happens because the driver is not focused on the road. This is called distracted driving and unfortunately, has become a major cause of accidents today. When this happens at a red light, the driver will often say he or she did not see the light had turned red or that a stop sign was ahead. Other causes are:
- The driver is drunk.
- The driver is talking on a cell phone or texting.
- On long trips, the driver may be daydreaming.
- A tree branch hides the red light, or a stop sign may be obscured by foliage. In both of these situations, the city or municipal agency tasked with maintaining traffic signals may be equally to blame, and a lawsuit can be filed against the government. When this is done, different time limits are in place. If you miss the date, it is possible that your case will not be heard. Your attorney will be able to ensure that time limits are not ignored.
Liability in Traffic Signal Cases
No matter what the driver’s reasons are for ignoring a traffic signal, this erroneous behavior can cause serious injuries or death to others. In such cases, the negligent driver disregards his or her responsibility to others on the road. Because of this choice, an accident that causes damages to another happens. It does not matter if the driver had an emergency or did not see the traffic signal. The result is the same. Negligence has occurred, and the driver is responsible for the monetary cost of the crash. Some of the consequences are:
- Side impact or T-bone accidents: When one driver is moving through an intersection at the normal speed limit, as are the drivers who have a green light and are crossing the intersection, T-bone accidents occur. These are serious accidents since the driver’s side panel rarely has the protective safety devices the front and back do, such as airbags. There is no crumple zone but rather a few inches between the driver and the impacting vehicle. A T-bone accident can cause injury to the abdomen and pelvis, resulting in abdominal trauma and pelvic or femur fractures.
- Fatalities: The number of deaths is high in traffic signal accidents and is increasing each year. Intersections are hazardous enough for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers without this flagrant disregard for the law.
- Aggressive driving: Red light accidents can be seen as a form of aggressive driving. With the anger potential for drivers growing each year, it is not surprising that so many traffic signal crashes are happening.
- The red light runner may receive a citation or be charged criminally.
Facts About Red Light Accidents
Here are some noteworthy facts about red light traffic accidents:
- Memorial Day is the time when the highest number of red light accidents occur.
- Most disregard for traffic signals occurs between the hours of 1:00 and 5:00 pm.
- Fridays are the most common time when drivers disregard traffic signals.
How to Prevent Traffic Signal Accidents
There are things that can be done to prevent or lessen red light or other traffic signal accidents. They are:
- Use of traffic cameras: If drivers know that traffic cameras are in place and that they are monitored and citations are sent to wrongdoers, the percentage of drivers who engage in this behavior drops about 67 percent. Although more rear-end accidents may occur as drivers stop suddenly, this may involve less serious injuries and deaths than those that occur inside the intersection.
- Length of yellow light time: A yellow light allows drivers to finish moving through the intersection. It also gives those who are approaching the yellow light time to stop for a red light. The length of time the light remains yellow can be altered to give drivers more time. However, some drivers are going to run a red light no matter how much time they have. This at least gives some drivers a better chance of not running a red light.
Free Case Review – Los Angeles Traffic Light Truck Accident Law Firm
If you have been injured by a driver ignoring a traffic signal, give David a call at (800) 991-5292 for a free case evaluation. Don’t delay as some evidence may disappear, and witness memory may fade. Take the step many Angelenos have taken, and fight your case with an experienced attorney at your side. Choose the one Super Lawyers called one of the top personal injury lawyers in L.A. – David Azizi.