chicago personal injury lawyers

Fatal Red-Light Accidents on the Rise in Chicago

October 17, 2018

There is a reason for traffic signals at Chicago intersections: they allow traffic to flow safely and smoothly. However, some drivers fail to stop when the light turns red – creating a serious hazard to other road users. In a 2015 study by the National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR), Chicago ranked 5th in the top ten most dangerous cities in the US for red-light running. 

Red-light runners a growing problem

According to The Drive, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the American Automobile Association (AAA), Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and the National Safety Council are urging municipalities to implement more red-light cameras – in response to a 17 percent rise in fatal accidents between 2012 and 2016. 

In 2012, there were approximately 696 traffic deaths caused by red-light runners nationwide. This marked one of only three years to have fewer than 700 deaths since 2000. In 2016, there was a total of 811 traffic fatalities, the highest since 2007 (which had 914 deaths). More than half of those killed in fatal red-light accidents were not at fault.  

IIHS believes that a 21 percent decrease in red-light cameras from 2012 (533 cameras) to 2018 (421 cameras) may be to blame. 

According to IIHS, the State of Illinois permits the use of red-light cameras only in specified jurisdictions. Chicago currently has several red-light cameras installed throughout the city; however, they are not installed at all intersections. 

Intersection accidents often complicated legal cases

Recently, a man was killed at the intersection of 83rd Street and Yates Boulevard after another driver failed to stop at a red light. The impact from the crash sent one of the vehicles into a nearby garage. The accident victim was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. 

Determining fault in an intersection accident can sometimes be tricky, especially if the at-fault driver was broadsided. However, red-light cameras can prove how and why your accident happened. They can also catch drivers who try to leave the scene of an accident.  

If you were injured in an auto accident caused by a red-light runner, you may not always have the luxury of footage captured by a red-light camera. If you’re able to do so, you are advised to take photos of the crash scene and speak to witnesses. 

An experienced attorney at Coplan + Crane can launch a thorough investigation into your crash and fight to hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions. Contact us today to discuss your options.