FHA Statistics on Red Light Running and Fatal Car Accidents


Even before you got your driver’s license, you knew that running a red light is both dangerous and against the law. In fact, the US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (FHA) calls red light running a “serious signalized intersection safety issue,” causing more than 900 traffic fatalities every year. Thousands of other victims suffer serious injuries in crashes involving red light running. Whether because the responsible motorist intentionally or accidentally disregarded the signal, there is no question that these collisions are preventable.

You may be relieved to know that Alaska law provides you with legal remedies to recover compensation if you were hurt or lost a loved one in this type of accident. An Anchorage car crashes attorney can explain the process, but some background information may be helpful.


Red Light Running Statistics Reveal Disturbing Trends

The FHA has compiled data from a variety of sources regarding accidents linked to running a red light.  

  • In sum, 28% of all fatal crashes at intersections happen because a driver ignored a traffic signal or stop sign.
  • Approximately 35% of all fatalities were the motorist who failed to stop, but almost half were occupants of the other vehicle.
  • In a survey, 85% of respondents stated that running a red light is extremely dangerous, but 42% of them admitted that they did so within the last month.
  • Every year, around 137,000 victims are injured in accidents where a motorist disregards a red light or stop sign.


Reasons Drivers Disregard Traffic Signals

Perhaps not surprisingly, the main reason that drivers blow through a red light is that they are in a hurry. In many cases, the light had just turned yellow and they decided to take the risk. In addition to this purposeful misconduct, motorists also engage in negligent acts in running a red light, such as:

  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
  • Texting, talking on the phone, or other distracted driving;
  • Failing to see the light; or,
  • Fatigue or being “zoned out.”


Seeking Compensation for Your Losses as a Victim

From the above, you can see that careless or reckless misconduct is behind many red-light running crashes. In the practice of law, the legal basis for liability is called negligence. You can recover compensation if you can prove that the driver breached the duty to drive safely when going through the light, and this was the direct cause of the collision. It is possible to obtain monetary recovery to compensate for losses such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, inconvenience, and lost enjoyment of life.

However, you should note that Alaska follows the rule of contributory negligence, which focuses on your own conduct in the crash. If you were also at fault, your compensation may be reduced by your percentage of fault.


Contact Our Alaska Car Accident Lawyers for Legal Help

If you were injured in an accident after another driver ran a red light, our team at Power & Power Law can assist with filing an insurance claim. We are equally prepared to pursue the responsible party in court to recover monetary damages for your losses. To learn more about your rights, please contact our office in Anchorage, Alaska to set up a free consultation.