It seems as though auto manufacturers and safety regulators have been able to address many of the most common and deadly hazards on U.S. roads. Sadly, the basic hazards involving human error and poor decision-making are still rampant. A good example is intersection crashes caused by drivers who run red lights. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, crashes caused by running red lights killed 683 people and injured approximately 133,000 more in 2012.
We have all seen it, and some of us have even been guilty of it once or twice. During heavy traffic, a driver sees the lights turn yellow as he approaches the intersection but thinks he can make it through. Due to bad timing or the fact that someone else is trying to make a last-second left turn, however, vehicles collide in a violent car accident.
So what’s the solution? Although they are more than a little unpopular, red-light cameras have proven to be effective at reducing the behavior. When drivers know that an intersection is monitored, they tend to make less risky decisions that could result in a citation. This, in turn, reduces intersection crashes.
It’s also important for traffic lights to be timed correctly. Sometimes it seems as though lights don’t stay yellow long enough for cars to adequately slow down. It’s also important to include a pause between the time when yellow lights turn red and previously red lights turn green. This gives drivers time to clear the intersection.
Unfortunately, red-light accidents and left-turn crashes will likely be a safety hazard as long as humans are in control of cars. That being said, irresponsible and reckless drivers who cause intersection crashes can be held accountable in court. If you have been injured in a red-light or left-turn crash caused by a negligent driver, you may wish to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.