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Illinois Ranked Among Worst States for Red-Light Running

Red traffic light

Illinois has some of the most impatient drivers on the roadway.

According to a national car accident analysis, Illinois is among the states reporting the most car accidents caused by drivers running red lights.

In 2019, the state experienced 35 fatal motor vehicle crashes because drivers ran red lights. Only four other states, including Michigan, experienced more crashes as a result of a driver failing to stop for a red light.

As experienced car accident lawyers, we know how bad intersection crashes can be—especially in Chicago.

Running red lights in Chicago

Red-light running car accidents are tracked by the National Coalition for Safer Roads. In 2019, about 840 people were killed nationwide in this type of accident, the NCSR says.

Many of Illinois' fatal running-red-light crashes happen in Chicago. Some of the intersections at which these accidents have occurred include:

  • South Kedzie Avenue and West Roosevelt Road
  • South Oakley Boulevard at West Harrison Street
  • South Ridgeland Avenue at South Boulevard
  • Indianapolis Boulevard at 108th Street and Indiana Toll Road

In Rockford, there were fatal running-red-light accidents at the intersection of Auburn Street and North Springfield Avenue.

Red-light running accidents are among the most reckless types of car, truck, and motorcycle accidents that occur on our roads. They often involve high speeds as the negligent driver attempts to beat the yellow light or otherwise squeeze through traffic unharmed. The faster a car is moving at the moment of impact, the more likely it is to cause serious injuries or even death.

Why run a red light in the first place?

Running a red light is extremely dangerous, yet people do it all of the time. Their motivations are not always clear and not a lot of study has gone into the topic. A university-led survey of red-light runners found various reasons for recklessness, including:

Frustration — Drivers angered by the "discourteousness" of others can get so fed up, they run a red.

Miscalculation — When drivers speed up to beat a red light and don't make it, they may blow through the intersection at accelerated speeds after the light has turned. The most common reasons for wanting to beat a red light include being in a rush or trying to save time.

Congestion — Traffic jams can lead to aggressive driving, including running red lights.

Getting away with it — Most red-light runners think there will be no repercussions for running a red light. They do not anticipate causing an accident or being caught by police and ticketed.

Who is most likely to go through a stoplight?

The study also came up with a profile for red-light runners. The type of person most likely to run a red is someone who is a:

  • Younger driver
  • Childless
  • Driving solo
  • Unemployed
  • In a hurry

Drivers are most likely to run red lights on weekday mornings while on their way to school or work. The second most likely time a driver will fail to stop for a red light is while running errands in the middle of the day. For about half of red-light runners, the act is planned. Most people don't think they will be caught.

Red light camera enforcement

At least two people die every day due to red-light runners, according to a AAA Foundation study that says the number of red-light runners is increasing. AAA says that installing red-light traffic cameras can help reduce this type of crash. Illinois utilizes this equipment to cut down on the number of accidents, including those that happen at an angle (T-bone), rear-end, sideswipe, turning, head-on, or with a pedestrian or cyclist.

In fact, the city of Chicago has a comprehensive Red Light Camera Enforcement Program. Through the campaign, Chicago tripled the grace period for when a light turns from red to green.

Chicago's trusted car accident lawyers

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a red-light-running driver or any other type of negligent motorist in Chicago or Northern Illinois, it's important that you consult a lawyer. Red-light runners have already demonstrated that they are irresponsible and extremely reckless. It is unlikely that they will accept liability for causing a crash, which could end with you having to pay for accident expenses you did not create.

At Coplan & Crane, our highly skilled car accident attorneys know how to hold negligent drivers responsible for the damage they cause. Our firm offers free case evaluations to accident victims and their families. A member of our team will listen to the details of your accident and injuries. We can help you realize the full value of your claim and weigh your best legal options.

Our lawyers also represent accident victims on contingency, which means there's no upfront money required to hire us, and we only get paid if we win your case. Take control of your claim and contact us today to find out how our law firm can help you.

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