Why Is it So Dangerous to Run a Red Light?

April 23, 2024
Contact Our Media Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks for Legal Help After a Red Light Crash

Running a red light is a dangerous traffic violation with severe consequences for drivers and pedestrians. Even if it seems like no one is nearby, it is not worth taking the risk. Even when it is not done purposely, running a red light can cause injuries and end lives.

When drivers run a red light, they enter an intersection when cross traffic has the right of way. This raises the risk of T-bone collisions, which can result in severe injuries or fatalities for occupants of both vehicles. Running a red light can also cause confusion and chaos in an intersection, leading to multi-vehicle crashes as other drivers attempt to move from harm’s way.  

Pedestrians crossing the intersection on a green light expect vehicles to stop. When drivers run a red light, they endanger pedestrians who may be crossing legally, leading to devastating accidents.

Why Do Drivers Run Red Lights?

Distraction ranks among the top reasons for running red lights, as drivers may be preoccupied with electronic devices, conversations, or other things, causing them to miss or ignore traffic signals. Impatience also plays a significant role, especially when drivers feel rushed or frustrated by long wait times at intersections. That can prompt them to disregard red lights to save time.

Aggressive driving behaviors like tailgating or speeding can also increase the likelihood of a driver attempting to beat a red light. Misjudgment of the timing of the light change or an overestimation of their ability to stop safely might also lead to red light violations.

What Are the Legal Consequences of Running a Red Light?

The legal consequences of running a red light can be severe. Violators are typically issued a citation that can lead to fines, points on the driver’s license, and increased insurance premiums. If running a red light results in a car accident, the at-fault driver may be held financially responsible for medical expenses, property damage, and pain and suffering.

In cases where running a red light leads to injury or death, the driver may face criminal charges such as reckless driving or vehicular manslaughter, depending on the circumstances.

How Can Red Light Violations Be Prevented?

Strategies to reduce red light violations include:

  • Increased enforcement: Law enforcement agencies can utilize red light cameras and conduct targeted enforcement efforts to deter red light runners and hold violators accountable.
  • Public awareness campaigns: Education initiatives can raise awareness about the dangers of running red lights and emphasize the importance of obeying traffic signals for the safety of all road users.
  • Intersection improvements: Engineering solutions like lengthening yellow light times, installing countdown timers, and improving visibility can help reduce the likelihood of red light violations and lessen the severity of collisions when they occur.

By implementing these preventive measures and promoting a culture of safe driving, we can work towards reducing the incidence of red light violations and creating safer roadways for everyone.

Contact Our Media Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks for Legal Help After a Red Light Crash

Running a red light is not only dangerous but also illegal. If you were involved in an accident caused by a red light runner, our experienced Media car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. can help you understand your rights and pursue justice. Call 610-565-3701 or submit our online form for a consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Delaware County, Chester County, or Montgomery County.