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Red-light running crashes, and what can reduce their rate

Every day in this country, two people are killed by drivers who run a red light. Florida residents should know that red-light runners impact the lives not only of other drivers but also of pedestrians and bicyclists. In a study of red-light running crashes, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that the number of deaths arising from such crashes reached a 10-year high in 2017: 939 people were killed.

AAA is calling for everyone to be more careful around intersections. Drivers should watch for stale green lights and cover their brakes when preparing to enter intersections. Pedestrians and cyclists should not wear headphones and should stay in well-lit areas.

Most red-light running crashes are caused by speeding, impatient or distracted drivers, and many assume they won't be caught. In a AAA Traffic Safety Culture Index, 85% of drivers acknowledged that red-light running is wrong, but two in five said that being pulled over for it would be unlikely. One in three admitted to running a red light in the past 30 days.

Besides stronger enforcement of traffic laws, red-light cameras may prove beneficial. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says they reduce the rate of fatal red-light running crashes by 21% in large cities. They reduce the rate of all intersection-related fatal crashes by 14%.

Those who get in a car accident with someone who ran a red light may be left with mounting medical costs, a totaled vehicle, pain and suffering and more. To be reimbursed for these and other economic and non-economic damages, they may file a claim against that driver's auto insurance company. Florida is a no-fault state, though, so not everyone can file a third-party insurance claim. Victims may want a lawyer to evaluate their case before moving forward.

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