Running Red Lights and Car Accidents

How Running Red Lights Causes Car Accidents

Running a red light is one of the most inherently dangerous things a driver can do. It shows blatant disregard for traffic signs and signals, puts everyone in the intersection in danger, and can lead to a head-on or T-bone crash—two of the most catastrophic types of collisions.

If you’ve been involved in a crash caused by a driver who ran a red light, you could be entitled to compensation. Let the team at Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman help you fight for compensation—call us at 866-565-4949 to set up a consultation immediately.

Legal Issues with Running Red Lights

To start, running a red light is illegal in Pennsylvania, as it is everywhere else in the country. Drivers facing a steady red sign must stop at the clearly marked stop line or before entering the intersection. When one driver breaks the law in a way that disregards general safety measures, there is a good chance they will be found liable for any accidents that ensue. With more and more Pennsylvania intersections now having red light cameras and more drivers using dashcams, it is difficult to lie about whether or not a light was red when you entered the intersection.

You also have to consider the risk of harming more vulnerable groups. When pedestrians have a walk signal, they are likely to assume that they’re safe to enter the crosswalk. A driver who runs a red light is at very serious risk of hitting and killing any pedestrians in their way.

Intersection Collisions

Intersections are an area of significant risk for drivers, and even when everyone is doing their best to drive safely, accidents can still occur. Someone running a red light makes this already dangerous area even more risky. Depending on the position of other vehicles and whether they are turning or going straight, a driver who runs a red light may cause a head-on crash or a T-bone accident.

T-Bone Accidents

Perhaps one of the most dangerous types of accidents to result from someone running a red light is a T-bone accident. This is especially true if the driver who ran the red light does not take any evasive action, such as slowing down or swerving out of the way. When a vehicle perpendicular to them is crossing the intersection, the driver who runs a red light can hit them on their side, causing an enormous amount of impact to the occupants on that side of the vehicle. If the at-fault driver is going fast enough, they may even generate enough force to flip over the other car. These types of accidents often lead to totaled vehicles, secondary crashes caused by those trying to avoid the collision scene, and fatal or catastrophic injuries.

Factors Contributing to Red Light Accidents

If running red lights is so dangerous, why is it still such a prominent problem for drivers across the United States? A number of factors have ramped up the likelihood of red light accidents in recent years:

  • Distracted driving: Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous epidemics on American roads. When a driver is looking at their phone or otherwise not keeping their eyes on the road, they may not notice the light ahead of them turns red. When they enter the intersection anyway, they may not even look up in time to realize that they are about to crash.
  • Impatience: How many of us have seen someone speed up and fly through an intersection, hoping to get through before it turns from yellow to red? When a driver pulls this maneuver when they are still far from the intersection, they may fly through it at full speed after the light turns red.
  • Aggressive driving: Aggressive drivers tend to feel that they have a right to the road that supersedes anyone else’s rights. This can lead them to run red lights because they are in a rush.
  • Impaired driving: Impaired driving is a common trigger for red light accidents. A drunk driver may not think to look at the traffic lights or they may think that the green light for the perpendicular lane of traffic is for them.

Start Your Car Accident Claim with Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman

After a red light accident in Pittsburgh, it’s essential to find strong legal representation. Let us help. Set up a consultation at our firm now by contacting us online or calling us at 866-565-4949.