Red-light runners are causing more and more fatal crashes with 35% of the fatalities being the offending drivers themselves. In 2017, there were 939 deaths in red-light running crashes: the highest it has been in 10 years, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. New Jersey residents should know that most drivers who run red lights are not so much inattentive as they are reckless and impatient.
In a recent Traffic Safety Culture Index from AAA, 85% of drivers acknowledged that running a red light is wrong. However, nearly one in three drivers admitted to running a red light at least once in the past 30 days. More than two in five drivers also said it would be unlikely for police to catch them doing it.
It appears, then, that stronger law enforcement is necessary. Drivers should know that if they run a red light and cause a deadly crash, they may face jail time. Since police cannot be everywhere, though, red-light cameras can be of benefit. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in particular, advocates their use.
Drivers can protect themselves against red-light runners by first of all being defensive drivers. When the light turns green, drivers should pause before accelerating into the intersection. They should watch for stale green lights when approaching an intersection.
Reckless or negligent drivers who cause motor vehicle accidents may be held liable, and those who are injured through little or no fault of their own might be able to recover damages via a personal injury claim. New Jersey is a no-fault state, so only those who suffer severe injuries or disabilities can file a third-party claim, so it may be wise for victims to see a lawyer about their options. The lawyer might prove helpful during negotiations or litigation.