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Red light running crash deaths in 2017 hit 10-year high

Drivers in New Jersey will want to be more careful around signalized intersections because the number of deaths due to red light running is increasing. In 2017, there were 939 such deaths: the highest it has been in 10 years according to a recent AAA report. Just over a third of the fatalities were the offending drivers while the rest were pedestrians, cyclists or occupants in the other vehicle.

The AAA report states that 85% of drivers understand that running a red light is illegal, yet one in three drivers admitted to doing it in the past 30 days. Moreover, two in five drivers responded that being pulled over for it would be highly unlikely. Most who run red lights are intentionally breaking the law; only a minority do so because of inattention or distractions.

A study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that red light cameras, which photograph offending drivers, can curb the number of red light violations by 40%. Safety experts are encouraging local governments to include these devices as part of their traffic safety programs.

Overall, auto accident fatalities are leveling off, but numbers are still in the 40,000 range each year. Traffic deaths in 2018 saw a modest 1% decline from the previous year. Speeding, drunk driving and distracted driving appear to be the main culprits.

Those who are injured by a speeding, drunk or distracted driver may have a way to be compensated for their losses. They will first have to file with their own insurance company, New Jersey being a no-fault state. If they wish to pursue a third-party insurance claim, they may want to consult with a personal injury lawyer because there are limitations on who can file such a claim. Car crash victims may benefit from legal representation when the time comes to negotiate a settlement.