No matter how safely you drive, there is not much you can do to avoid negligent and reckless drivers. That is why you always take important safety precautions, like wearing your seat belt and minimizing distractions from things like smart phones. Despite all of the safe driving habits that you and other drivers engage in, the number of red light fatalities is on the rise.
Drivers who run red lights are a big reason for the increase in deaths. It is apparent that more and more drivers are running red lights because related deaths recently hit the highest point in ten years. This means that even cautious drivers are at a higher risk than they were just a few years ago.
Are more people really dying?
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, two or more people are killed at red lights every single day. In 2017, drivers running through red lights killed nearly 940 people. In 2009, these drivers only killed 715 people. That is a 31% increase in just 10 years.
Drivers who cause accidents when running red lights account for only 35% of those fatalities. The vast majority of deaths occur to either drivers or passengers in other vehicles, or passengers in vehicles with drivers who are responsible for the collisions. Cyclists and pedestrians make up 5% of deaths.
Is the economy exacerbating the problem?
In 2009, most people in Texas were still struggling to recover from the recession, and red light fatalities were relatively low. Fewer people were driving for longer distances. Now that the economy is doing relatively well, many more people are on the road for longer distances and periods of time. This is one of the reasons behind the increase in deaths from red light collisions.
Distractions are another factor. Drivers who are paying more attention to their phones than they are to the road can easily run red lights without ever noticing. That is until they hit other vehicles or pedestrians, causing serious injury or even death.
Some drivers are just irresponsible
You might like to think that most people in Texas drive as responsibly as possible. Unfortunately, many drivers ignore their own safety as well as the safety of others. In another survey from AAA, approximately 33% of drivers admitted that they had purposely sped through red lights at least once in the month prior. A thriving economy and distractions are not the cause of these actions — negligence is.
Maybe you and your family did not realize that red light fatalities were on the rise until you lost a loved one. Even if you had known, you could not have protected your loved one from the accident. What you and your family can do is seek compensation on his or her behalf. Speaking with an attorney about pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit can help your family decide how to approach getting that compensation.