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Red Light Wrecks Hit 10-Year High

Deaths from red light runners have hit a 10-year-high, with an increase of more than 17% between 2012 and 2016. Over 800 people were killed in the United States in 2016 in wrecks where one driver ran a red light. That number increased dramatically again in 2017, to 939 people killed in red light running crashes— a 10-year high and a 28 percent increase since 2012. These fatality statistics, which are closing-in on over 1,000 dead nationwide, do not include driver and passengers with severe injuries from red light running wrecks.

According to a study by AAA, an automobile insurer and travel group, nearly half of those killed in red light running crashes were passengers or people in other vehicles and more than 5 percent were pedestrians or cyclists. Just over 35 percent of those killed were the drivers who ran the red light.

Unfortunately, Kentucky ranks among the worst states in the nation for fatalities from red light running, coming in 7th place with 3.4 deaths per one million population, while the national average is just 2 deaths per million. With a population of nearly 4.5 million people, Kentucky experiences, on average, over 15 deaths per year from drivers running red lights.

As WKYT in Lexington reports, Lori Weaver Hawkins with AAA Blue Grass said drivers often say people race against the light in order to save time on their commutes. “I can’t tell you if [Lexington] does have longer stoplight waits than other cities, but it feeds into a mindset of I want to beat that light,” Hawkins said.

The alarming rise in red light running deaths comes at the same time as drivers continue to see increased distractions, including from cell phones and other devices.

Here at the Poppe Law Firm®, we represent people from all across Kentucky, and Southern Indiana, in car accidents, semi-truck wrecks, and motorcycle wrecks. If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious wreck or accident, please contact us.  

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