Traffic lights are designed to control traffic and reduce red-light accidents. Unfortunately, the latest available car crash statistics show traffic accidents that occur at red lights are up 30% and have reached a 10-year high. Often, it is disputed which driver is at fault in red-light accidents. Because of this dispute, insurance companies will sometimes refuse to pay claims. If you’ve been injured in a red-light accident, an experienced car accident lawyer can deal with the insurance company and help you obtain a fair recovery.
Common Types of Red Light Accidents
The two most common types of accidents that occur at traffic lights are side-impact, T-bone type car wrecks, and pedestrian accidents.
Side impact, or T-bone type crashes, are some of the most serious types of car accidents to occur. They happen when one car hits the side of another car. You often see this in traffic light accidents where one person runs a red light and slams into the unsuspecting driver of the vehicle with the green light traveling through the intersection.
Pedestrian accidents usually occur when someone runs a red light and hits a person(s) crossing the street in the crosswalk.
Injuries Resulting from Crashes at Traffic Lights
Traffic light crashes can result in serious, sometimes life-changing injuries. Common injuries seen in these types of crashes include broken bones, spinal injuries, head injuries, traumatic brain injury, and whiplash.
Causes of Red Light Accidents
Common causes of car accidents that occur at traffic lights include:
- Drivers who try to beat the light – Drivers who see that the traffic light is yellow, so they speed up to make it through before it turns red. Or, the light turns red right just as the driver arrives but he/she goes through the intersection anyway thinking they have a few seconds before the cross light turns green and cars start moving.
- Distracted driving – Talking on the phone, texting, fooling with electronic gadgets in the car or the radio, or taking your eyes off the road for a second are all types of distracted driving that may cause you not to notice that the light has turned red.
- Cars turning left across oncoming traffic – Cars turning left will sometimes do so on a yellow light thinking the oncoming cars are going to stop or not realizing that the oncoming car has sped up to beat the light.
There is often a dispute about who is at fault in a traffic-light accident. Sometimes, both parties will claim to have had the green light. This makes it difficult for the responding officer to say who was at fault on the accident report since it’s likely that the officer was called to the scene after the accident and wasn’t there to witness it. Therefore, other factors must be considered to determine who was at fault:
- Witnesses – Talk to people who saw the accident happen. Ask them who had the green light and who had the red light.
- Look for signs of speeding by one of the cars.
- Check to see if there is an impaired driver.
- Notice if there are security or surveillance cameras in the area that may have recorded the accident or that records when lights turn red or green.
Car Accident Lawyer, Macon, GA
Gautreaux Law is a full-service personal injury law firm helping people injured in car accidents, truck wrecks, by defective products and medical negligence. We welcome difficult cases and will stand up to insurance companies to get full and fair compensation for our clients. Contact us today to begin your road to recovery. 478-238-9758.