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The safety risks running a red light pose to others on the road

It happens all too often. A driver is approaching a light when it turns yellow. In order to avoid stopping at the lighted intersection, a driver decides to hit the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal, causing them to travel through a red light. While this might seem like a harmless action to some Iowa drivers, running red lights could lead to serious and sometimes even fatal intersection collisions. Moreover, running a red light usually causes a driver to speed, and this recklessness could also lead to a car crash

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, red-light running is a serious intersection safety issue plaguing the entire nation. Roughly 2.3 million intersection-related crashes were reported in the Traffic Safety Facts 2008 Report, and of those crashes, more than 7,770 fatalities occurred and approximately 733,00 crashes resulted in injuries in 2008.

The Fatality Analysis Reporting System looked at these reported intersection crashes and determined that red light running caused 762 deaths and injured an estimated 165,000 people. In addition to considering data collected about accidents related to running red lights, the report also surveyed driver's perspectives about this issue. This survey discovered that 97 percent of drivers feel that other drivers running red lights cause a major safety threat on the roadways. Moreover, one in three people claim that they know someone personally that were either injured or killed in a crash related to running a red light.

This information and data suggests that running a red light is a serious safety issues that requires attention nationwide. When a driver runs a red light and an accident ensues, that driver could be found negligent and responsible for the collision. Liability could be placed on the negligent driver. A victim or their loved ones could file a civil action in order to seek a monetary award to cover the losses and damages related to the incident.

Following an intersection crash, those harmed should understand their situation. This usually requires further investigation to determine cause and fault. Victims should learn more about their legal rights and remedies, because they could be entitled to pursue compensation for their injuries and damages.

Source: Safety.fhwa.dot.gov, "Red-Light Running," accessed April 27, 2015

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