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Running Red Lights: Not Worth the Risk

Red traffic lights

The hectic pace of modern life brings multiple distractions and a sense of urgency behind the wheel. At Daggett Shuler Law, we see the tragic consequences of distracted driving, drunk driving, and other traffic accidents caused by running red lights. That is why we encourage safe driving and urge drivers always to obey traffic signs and signals to prevent the potentially devastating effects of running a red light.

Troublesome Statistics

In 2018, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) stated more than 800 people died in traffic collisions caused by drivers who ran red lights. Unfortunately, by 2021, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported that 1,109 people were killed in red-light running crashes. In addition, a staggering 127,000 people were injured in red-light running collisions.

The IIHS has also released a crash-test video to demonstrate what could happen in a collision between two vehicles when one driver disobeys a red light. In this side-impact collision, one vehicle does fare better than the other, but the nature of the crash suggests neither driver would simply walk away from the scene. An ABC45 article featuring this video clip is available here.

In a telephone survey by IIHS, seventy-six percent of drivers said that they realize it is very dangerous to drive through a red light when they could have stopped safely, but 28 percent reported doing so in the past 30 days. The consequences of running a red light could be devastating, even deadly, and it could happen at any time.

Red Lights and North Carolina Law

Section 20-158 of the North Carolina Motor Vehicle Statutes addresses vehicle control signs and signals—including what different traffic-control signs and signals mean and the penalties drivers could face for disobeying them.

Red Light Accidents are Preventable

At Daggett Shuler, we know many of the traffic injuries and fatalities we see could have been avoided. That’s why we urge drivers to keep their eyes on the road at all times, avoid distractions, and remain aware of other drivers on the road. While this cannot prevent all accidents, it can help keep all motorists safer.

Other ways to prevent a car accident include:

Maintaining a safe speed. Adjust your speed according to road and weather conditions. For example, slow down in extreme weather, heavy traffic, or construction zones.

 Staying sober. Never drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any substances that impair your judgment or reaction time.

Buckling up. Always wear your seatbelt, and ensure all passengers do the same. Seatbelts are one of the most effective safety features in a vehicle.

Using turn signals. Signal your intentions before making turns or changing lanes. This helps other drivers anticipate your movements.

Checking blind spots. Always check your blind spots before changing lanes to avoid collisions with vehicles that might be hidden from your mirrors.

Maintaining your vehicle. Regularly inspect and maintain your vehicle. Ensure brakes, tires, lights, and other essential systems are in good working condition.

Adapting to weather conditions. Exercise extra caution during rain, snow, ice, or fog. Slow down and increase the following distance to compensate for reduced traction.

Watching for pedestrians and cyclists. Be aware of pedestrians and cyclists, especially in urban areas and crosswalks or bike lanes.

Only drive while well-rested. Avoid driving when you’re tired or drowsy. Exhaustion can impair your reaction time and decision-making skills.

You Can Depend on Daggett Shuler

At Daggett Shuler, our mission is to protect the rights of our neighbors in the Triad following a car accident due to someone else’s negligence. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motor vehicle accident through no fault of your own, contact the dedicated car accident attorneys at Daggett Shuler for help. We will investigate every detail of your situation and fight hard to secure the compensation you deserve.

Contact us today by submitting a form or calling our office at 336-724-1234 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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I would like to take time to thank the staff at Daggett Shuler Attorneys at Law. To Megan Youngblood for helping me get my disability started; thank you so much for everything!

Olivia Winston