Traffic signals are not a suggestion. They are in place to protect New York motorists and pedestrians. Unfortunately, a recently released article states that the number of deaths associated with running red lights is at the highest point it has been in about a decade.
The sad reality is, too many people fail to obey traffic signals. They may do this for a number of reasons including distraction and careless operation, among others. No matter the reason, those who do this and cause harm to others may be held accountable for the victim’s or their surviving family members’ losses in the event of fatality.
A look at the numbers
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a minimum of two people die every single day in the United States in accidents caused by drivers who run red lights. In 2017, which is the most recent data available, 939 people died in such events. That is a significant increase compared to nearly a decade earlier in 2009 when only 715 people died in these types of accidents. Looking at the percentages:
- 50% of victims were passengers
- 35% were the drivers responsible
- 5% of victims were pedestrians
No matter how you look at it, one life lost due to a driver running a red light is one too many. This is something that is highly preventable. All it takes is drivers choosing to exercise greater care when behind the wheel of their cars.
What can you do if you’ve suffered injuries or lost a loved one in this kind of accident?
Thankfully, you may have legal recourse. The state of New York allows the victims of negligent drivers to seek compensation for their losses by filing civil claims against the responsible party in court. Even if the responsible party fails to survive the event, legal claims can be made against his or her estate to seek relief. The point is, the losses suffered do not have to be borne alone. Obtaining relief is possible under the right circumstances, but taking quick action is prudent.
For those who would like to seek compensation for their own injuries or the deaths of their loved ones, it is necessary to establish to the satisfaction of the court that the responsible party was negligent in his or her actions. Legal counsel may be able to help one do just that.