Deaths from red light running crashes rise

More and more people in New Jersey and across the U.S. are dying at the hands of drivers who run red lights. Red light running crashes led to 939 deaths in 2017, which the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says is the highest the number has been in 10 years. Approximately 46% of the victims were drivers or passengers in the other vehicle while 35% of those killed were the offending drivers.

The AAA Foundation has a Traffic Safety Culture Index out showing how more than two in five drivers believe it is unlikely to be caught by the police for running a red light. Since police cannot be everywhere, it is important, then, that local governments integrate red light cameras in their traffic safety programs. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has stated that cameras cut the rate of fatal red light running crashes in big cities by 21%.

Defensive driving on the part of others is also crucial. Drivers should not rush into an intersection once the light turns green, nor should they prepare to enter an intersection without covering their brake. They should watch for green lights that are about to turn yellow. Pedestrians and cyclists, who made up more than 5% of red light running crash deaths in 2017, must also be alert to their surroundings.

If a negligent or reckless driver causes an accident, those who are injured may have grounds for a personal injury claim. First, they must file with their own insurance company. If this first-party claim does not cover the medical expenses, vehicle damage and other losses, though, they may be able to file a third-party claim. It all depends on the severity of the injuries. A lawyer may be helpful in evaluating the case and in negotiating for a settlement.