The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that an increasing number of people are dying in crashes due to drivers who run red lights. In 2017, there were 939 such deaths, marking a 10-year high. AAA found that in 65% of these crashes, it’s not the offending driver who dies but the innocent victim. Drivers, pedestrians and cyclists in Tennessee and across the U.S. are at risk for becoming the victims of red-light runners, so they should know how to protect themselves.
Defensive driving is key. Drivers stopped at a red light should not dart out the moment it turns green but rather wait a second or two. Then, they should look both ways. As they come upon an intersection, their foot should hover over their brake. They could tap their brake a couple of times, too, to catch the attention of the driver behind them. Though many red-light runners are simply impatient, others can be distracted. Lastly, drivers should watch out for stale green lights and act accordingly.
Pedestrians and bicyclists can remain safe if they themselves are not distracted. This means no headphones, for example. When stopped at intersections, pedestrians and bicyclists should try to stand in high-visibility areas. Before crossing, they should make sure cars are fully stopped and, if possible, make eye contact with drivers.
Those who are injured by a red-light runner may have a personal injury case on their hands. If successful, they could achieve an out-of-court settlement with the other driver’s auto insurance company that covers medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and more. As a last resort, though, they may need to litigate. Since filing a claim is not easy to do alone, victims may wish to hire a lawyer who, in turn, can hire investigators and others to assist.