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When failure to obey traffic signals leads to fatal car accidents

In New York, it is relatively common to see drivers running red lights. Some of them do it because they are distracted, others do it because they feel they do not have time or space to stop, and some do it because they simply do not care. According to a recently published article, drivers running red lights often cause fatal car accidents. When this happens, the surviving family members of the victims may have legal recourse.

A study completed by the AAA Foundation found that the number of fatal accidents resulting from drivers running red lights is at a 10-year-high. In 2017, 936 people died in collisions caused by drivers failing to stop for red lights. About a decade earlier, that number sat at about 715 per year. That is a significant increase.

What can people do to protect themselves from being victims of this type of crash? Pedestrians and drivers, when it is their turn to move across the intersection, can wait three seconds before proceeding. This generally gives those who run red lights time to get through the intersection first. Pedestrians and drivers can also make sure they are paying attention to their surroundings before moving through an intersection. Doing these things may not prevent all accidents caused by running red lights, but they can certainly help reduce the number seen every year.

Running a red light is negligent driving. According to the state of New York, negligent drivers may be held responsible for any damage that they cause. Following fatal car accidents, the family members of the victims may be entitled to pursue wrongful death claims in civil court in an effort to seek compensation for their losses. If negligence can be adequately established, the court may award monetary relief for any documented damages in one's case.

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