Car accident injuries at intersections are a major problem in the United States. In 2009, 676 people were killed and an estimated 113,000 were injured in red light crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of that number, 123 car accident fatalities occurred in Louisiana. The number of fatal auto accident injuries at traffic signals is rising more than any other type of fatal car accident nationwide.
How does running a red light lead to a car accident injury?
Running a red light occurs when a driver enters an intersection after the traffic signal has turned red. Sometimes that driver is going straight through a red light and just runs it. Proving liability in those car accident cases is fairly easy. Other situations that may occur is when a driver approaches an intersection with a yellow light and thinks he or she can “make it” through the light. Fault in those car accidents are not so easily decided.
Car Accidents Involving a Left Turn
By far the most difficult intersection crash for which to determine liability is when a car makes a left turn through an intersection. Louisiana rules of the road provide that a driver making a left hand turn should always yield to oncoming traffic, and is therefore generally responsible if the driver collides with another car. There are several exceptions to this rule, however. One is if the other driver was speeding when the accident occurred. Another is if the other driver ran a red light and it contributed to the car accident. And, finally, if the driver making the left hand turn was turning safely and an unexpected event occurred that forced the driver to slow down or come to a stop.
Red Light Cameras Help Reduce Car Accidents at Intersections
Because these red light/intersection automobile accidents are so common in our country, cities are fighting back with red light cameras. These cameras detect a vehicle passing over sensors in the pavement after a traffic light has turned red. The sensors, connected to computers in high-speed cameras, take two photographs of the violation. The first photo is taken of the front of the vehicle when it enters the intersection, and the second is taken when the vehicle is actually in the intersection. Law enforcement officers then review the photographs and, often, send vehicle owners a citation. These photographs can also be important if the violation results in a car accident injury.
The good news is that the red light cameras are making a difference. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has concluded that red light cameras have reduced the rate of fatal car accident injuries by 24% in 14 large cities that introduced them between 1996 and 2004. So, let the driver beware and be careful. Approach intersections carefully and don’t try to beat that light!
Contact Us About Your Car Accident Injuries
If you have been involved in a car accident injury with an automobile driver who ran a red light or made an illegal left hand turn, please contact the personal injury attorneys at Morris Bart, LLC Attorneys at Law today. Our firm offers a free case evaluation with our personal injury attorneys, who will review the details of your case and help you get the compensation you deserve for your car accident injury.