The left-turning driver is often deemed at fault in running red light accidents, as they are generally required to yield to the oncoming traffic proceeding through the intersection.

Everything changes when accidents happen, turning the once-adventurous act of driving into a potential source of tragedy. Intersection accidents, especially those involving red light violations, can lead to severe injuries and even fatalities (See more about worst accident injuries). Adhering to traffic light rules is crucial for safety, yet negligence and ignorance often contribute to red light accidents

Motorcyclists, in particular, face heightened risks. Determining liability becomes essential in such cases, as it identifies the party responsible for the accident and is legally obligated to compensate for damages and injuries.

Why People Run Red Lights?

Running red lights is a dangerous behavior on the roads, and several reasons contribute to this risky action:

  • Impatience: Drivers in a hurry may run a red light to save time, disregarding the potential consequences.
  • Distracted Driving: Distractions, such as phone use or in-car activities, can lead to drivers not noticing the traffic signal change.
  • Recklessness: Some individuals disregard traffic rules and engage in risky behavior, including running red lights.
  • Misjudgment: Drivers might misjudge the time it takes for a light to change or underestimate their ability to stop in time.
  • Intoxication: Impaired drivers may be less aware of their surroundings, increasing the likelihood of running red lights (Read more about facts on drinking and driving).

Understanding these factors highlights the importance of promoting safe driving habits and enforcing traffic laws to reduce the incidence of red light violations.

Running Red Lights Caused By Speeding

Running red lights can often be linked to speeding, creating a more hazardous situation on the road. When drivers exceed the speed limit, they face several consequences that contribute to a higher likelihood of running red lights:

  • Reduced Reaction Time: Speeding decreases the time a driver has to react to changing traffic signals. A higher speed means less time to stop safely when the light turns red.
  • Difficulty Judging Stopping Distance: Speeding drivers may struggle to accurately gauge the distance required to come to a complete stop when approaching an intersection with a changing light.
  • Riskier Decision-Making: Speeding is often associated with more aggressive driving behaviors. When drivers exceed the speed limit, they may be more prone to taking risks, such as running a red light.
  • Limited Visibility: Higher speeds can reduce a driver’s ability to see and anticipate changes in traffic signals. This can lead to misjudgments and failure to stop at the red light.

Addressing the issue of running red lights involves enforcing traffic rules and promoting responsible and safe driving habits, including adhering to speed limits. Public awareness campaigns and law enforcement efforts can play key roles in reducing these dangerous behaviors on the road.

Red Light Accidents Can Share Fault

Liability in accidents can be shared when both drivers contribute to the negligence leading to the accident. If shared fault exceeds a certain threshold, it might impact the compensation you can receive. 

In some states, you may not be eligible for compensation if you share more than 50% of the responsibility, while in others, your red light accident settlement is reduced based on the percentage of fault assigned to you. For instance, with 20% shared fault, your compensation would be 80% of the total damages.

The Consequences Of Running a Red Light

Running a red light can have severe consequences, posing risks to the driver and others on the road. Here are some potential repercussions:

  • Traffic Violation Penalties: Running a red light is a serious traffic violation that often results in fines, points on the driver’s record, and increased insurance premiums.
  • Increased Risk of Accidents: Ignoring a red light increases the risk of intersection collisions, leading to severe accidents with injuries or fatalities.
  • Legal Consequences: Drivers may face legal consequences, including citations, court appearances, and potential license suspension for repeated offenses.
  • Injury and Fatality Risks: Red-light running accidents can result in serious injuries to drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists. In some cases, these accidents can be fatal.
  • Property Damage: Collisions resulting from running red lights can cause significant damage to vehicles and other property at the intersection.
  • Impact on Insurance: Insurance companies may raise premiums for drivers with red-light violations, reflecting the increased risk associated with their behavior.
  • Traffic Safety Concerns: Reckless driving behaviors, such as running red lights, contribute to overall traffic safety concerns, prompting authorities to implement measures to address the issue.

Car Accident Injuries Caused By Running a Red Light

Running a red light can lead to various car accident injuries due to the increased risk of collisions at intersections. Common damages resulting from accidents caused by running red lights include:

  • Whiplash: Sudden impacts from red-light running collisions can cause the neck to jerk violently, leading to whiplash injuries.
  • Broken Bones: The force of a collision may cause fractures and breaks, especially in the extremities, as occupants brace for impact.
  • Head Injuries: Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), can occur if occupants strike their heads on surfaces within the vehicle.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries: Muscles, tendons, and ligaments can suffer damage, resulting in strains, sprains, and other soft tissue injuries.
  • Cuts and Bruises: Broken glass, deployed airbags, and other hazards in a collision can cause cuts, bruises, and abrasions.
  • Internal Injuries: The impact of a collision may cause internal injuries, such as damage to organs, internal bleeding, or injuries to the abdomen.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Severe collisions can lead to spinal cord injuries, affecting mobility and sensation (Get detailed information on spinal cord injury after a car accident).
  • Emotional Trauma: In addition to physical injuries, car accidents caused by running red lights can result in emotional trauma, including anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What Damages Can You Pursue After Red Light Accidents?

After red light accidents, you can pursue various damages, including:

  • Medical Expenses: Compensation for medical bills related to injuries sustained in the accident.
  • Property Damage: Coverage for repairing or replacing damaged vehicles (See more about property damage liability).
  • Lost Wages: Reimbursement for income lost due to injuries preventing work.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical and emotional distress caused by the accident.
  • Wrongful Death: If the accident resulted in a fatality, surviving family members may pursue damages for losing a loved one.

Are You Involved In Running A Red Light? Contact A Lawyer

A red-light ticket lawyer can assist by examining the evidence, challenging the ticket’s validity, and negotiating on your behalf. They may work to reduce fines or penalties and help you navigate the legal process associated with red light violations.

FAQs On Running A Red Light

To avoid red light accidents, drivers should practice attentive driving, adhere to speed limits, and approach intersections cautiously. Being aware of traffic signals, maintaining a safe following distance, and refraining from distractions contribute to intersection safety.
Legal consequences may follow if you run a red light and cause an accident. You could face traffic citations, increased insurance premiums, and potential liability for damages. Following traffic laws to prevent accidents and their associated legal and financial repercussions is crucial.
To reduce red light accidents, municipalities can implement measures such as installing red light cameras, improving intersection visibility, and conducting public awareness campaigns. Drivers can contribute by practicing responsible driving habits, obeying traffic signals, and supporting initiatives that enhance intersection safety.
In red light accidents, the fault is determined based on traffic laws and the circumstances of the accident. If you ran a red light, you're likely at fault. However, other factors, such as the speed of the other vehicle or road conditions, could contribute. It's essential to establish liability based on the specifics of the situation.
In many places, it's legal to turn right on a red light after coming to a complete stop and ensuring there is no oncoming traffic or pedestrians. However, the specific rules can vary by jurisdiction, so being familiar with local traffic laws is essential. Always exercise caution and follow traffic signals to ensure safety.
The cost of a ticket for running a red light can vary widely depending on the violation's location, jurisdiction, and specific circumstances. Generally, fines for running a red light range from $50 to $1000 or more.