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Deadly intersection accidents often involve red light runners

Some of the most deadly accidents on Louisiana roads occur at intersections. Many are caused by faulty traffic signals or poor weather conditions, but many more are the result of reckless driving. The running of red lights is a persistent problem across the country, and data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that virtually all drivers consider red light runners a menace.

According to statistics from the NHTSA, accidents caused by drivers running a red light killed 762 road users in 2008. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that about half of those killed by red light runners are pedestrians or the occupants of other motor vehicles.

A 1999 study by researchers with Old Dominion University found that about one in three people claim to know somebody who was injured or killed in an intersection accident involving a red light runner, and a 1996 IIHS study of a single intersection in Virginia discovered that a motorist runs a red light every 20 minutes or so. The Virginia study also found that red light runners are often young men with a history of dangerous driving.

Installing red light cameras is one way to reduce the number of intersection accidents, and the footage recorded by these devices can also be used to identify which motorists had the right of way prior to a collision. When an accident occurs at an intersections without cameras, a personal injury attorney seeking compensation on behalf of an injured victim may check the scene of the crash for surveillance cameras that may have recorded the events. This kind of footage may also reveal negligent behavior such as texting while driving or speeding.

Source: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, "Red light running", May 2015

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