Red-Light Running Deaths at Record Highs
Running a red light is one of the most reckless actions drivers can do. Unfortunately, recent research shows it’s a growing problem across the U.S. and in Maryland. A recent study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 23 percent of U.S. drivers admitted to running a red light in the past 30 days. Keep reading to learn more about how red-light accidents are a growing safety concern in Maryland.
How Serious Are Red-Light Car Accidents in Maryland?
Recent news reports indicate that the number of deaths from red-light accidents nationwide is at record highs. Additional reporting shows 147 people in Maryland died in red-light accidents over a recent 10-year period. More than half of those fatalities were occupants of the other vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists. Data from AAA also indicates that Maryland ranks 18th in the nation in the number of red-light accident deaths per capita.
Who is at the Greatest Risk from Red-Light Runners in Maryland?
There are a few different groups that are most at risk from red-light running crashes in Maryland, including:
- Pedestrians – Pedestrians are supposed to cross at crosswalks or traffic lights to help keep them safe. However, if a driver plows through a red light, they might hit a pedestrian who’s lawfully crossing the street.
- Cyclists – Like pedestrians, bicycle riders should cross the street at traffic lights or crosswalks. If a driver runs a red light, they could easily hit a cyclist as they cross through an intersection.
- Traffic turning in front of a red-light runner – Drivers who are turning at an intersection, especially if they’re turning left, are highly vulnerable to red-light runners. If someone runs a red light in front of a turning driver, they could hit the other driver head-on or from the side.
- Traffic crossing perpendicular at an intersection – If a driver runs a red light at an intersection while other traffic moves left or right in front of them, they could cause a T-bone accident by hitting another car.
Does Distracted Driving Cause Red-Light Accidents in Maryland?
Distracted driving accidents are one of the most common causes of red-light accidents. There are three different types of driving distractions that can increase the likelihood of a red-light accident. They include:
- Manual distractions – These are actions that take one or both of a driver’s hands off the wheel. Without both hands on the wheel, drivers cannot fully control their vehicles as they approach or cross an intersection, making it more difficult for them to react to changing conditions or a pedestrian stepping into the crosswalk.
- Visual distractions – These are things that take a driver’s eyes off the road. A driver who isn’t watching where they’re going could run a red light and not even know.
- Cognitive distractions – These are things that take a driver’s focus off the act of driving. Drivers who aren’t concentrating on what they’re doing might not notice that an intersection is approaching or that the light has turned red, leading to a crash.
Talk to a Maryland Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been hurt in a red-light crash, a car accident lawyer can help you pursue compensation for your injuries from the negligent driver. Contact Trollinger Law LLC today for a free initial consultation with a Maryland car accident attorney.