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Intersection accidents involving red light runners

Many Nebraska road users are killed or injured each year in intersection accidents. These accidents are particularly dangerous as they often occur at high speeds and provide drivers with little or no time to take evasive action. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 97 percent of motorists feel that red light runners are a persistent threat, and about a third of the people surveyed by researchers with Old Dominion University in 1999 said that they knew an individual personally who had been injured or killed by a motorist who had run a red light.

According to NHTSA accident data, motorists running red lights caused accidents that claimed the lives of 762 people in 2008. A further 165,000 road users were injured in these accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that about half of those who are killed in accidents involving a red light runner are pedestrians or the occupants of the other vehicles involved.

A 1996 IIHS study of a Virginia intersection provides evidence concerning the scale of the problem as well as insights about the kind of drivers who run red lights. A driver ignored the red light at the intersection in question every 20 minutes or so, and many of the red light runners were young men with checkered driving records. The IIHS says that red light runners are less likely to fasten their safety belts and more likely to get behind the wheel after drinking.

Road users injured in an accident caused by a red light runner may seek civil remedies, and a personal injury attorney may file a lawsuit on their behalf. To establish liability and negligent behavior in such a lawsuit, attorneys may cite police reports or point to video footage recorded by surveillance cameras.

Source: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, "Red light running", May 2015

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