Some traffic laws we learn when studying for our driver's test, like the 8 A.M. to 6 P.M. prohibition against parking within 30 feet of a rural mail box on a state highway (see the Driver's Handbook for reminders). Other laws we knew by the time we reached kindergarten, like: "Green means go, Red means stop." Sadly, while everyone knows this basic principle, many fail to observe it. Red-light running causes far too many accidents, and our Panama City accident attorney fights for those injured when people don't listen to their inner preschooler.
A recent crash, reported on by WJHG, combined the dangerous act of red-light running with the inconsiderate and risky (and frankly, cowardly) decision to flee after causing an accident. During the early hours of Thursday morning, a smaller-sized SUV was heading west on Highway 98 in Panama City Beach near Wildwood Road. According to officials with the Bay County's Sheriff's Office, a second SUV ran a red light and plowed into the rear of the first vehicle, causing one SUV to roll and slide almost 400 feet from the location of impact.
A 65-year-old man who was in the smaller, struck SUV was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital. The driver of the second vehicle fled the scene on foot.
A Federal Highway Administration ("FHWA") brochure provides insight into the very real dangers of running a red light. A vehicle running through a red light or other form of traffic control device is the most common cause of crashes in urban areas. Likewise, red-light running crashes are the type of collision most likely to cause injury, with approximately 165,000 motorist, pedestrians, and cyclists suffering injury each year because of a red-light runner. According to the FHWA, nearly 9,000 people died in the prior decade due to someone running a red light. On a typical day in the United States, there are 7 fatal crashes and 1,000 injury accidents at signaled intersections, including red-light running collisions.
While 93% of drivers say running a red light is unacceptable (we'd love to talk to the 7%), 1 in 3 drivers confessed to doing so in the previous 30 days, and someone runs through a red light at an urban intersection every 20 minutes. A full half of those killed in red-light running accidents are someone other than the "runner," such as a passenger, another driver, bicyclist, or pedestrian. One trauma surgeon suggests that red-light runners may not realize the risks of lower-speed crashes, noting that side-impact crashes (such as might occur if a driver runs a red and hits a car on the cross-street) are high-risk because of the relatively thin layer of protection on the side of a vehicle.
Listen to your inner preschooler – stop on red. Avoid justifying behavior as "squeezing through a yellow" when you know you are really running the red. Likewise, speak up if someone you are travelling with commits this dangerous act. While medical care is always priority one, if you have been injured by a red-light runner, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Our Panama City red-light injury lawyer can help you get compensation for your injuries and send a message that red-light running is a dangerous habit that will not be tolerated.