Attorney David J. King


Fatal red-light accidents on the rise

Does it seem like traffic lights only turn red when you are in a hurry? You are not alone. Rather than stopping to wait one or two minutes for the light to return to green, many drivers opt to hit the gas and try to make it through the intersection before the yellow turns to red. Others simply cruise on through even if the light is already red.

The result is that fatal injuries from red-light collisions are up over 30% in the past 10 years. If you were among those who suffered devastating injuries in a recent red-light collision, or you lost a loved one who was hit by a vehicle driving through a red light, you may wonder if the few seconds saved is worth the risk.

What is the answer?

At least two people in the U.S. die daily in collisions when drivers ignore red lights. This includes those who rush to avoid having to stop, drivers distracted by cell phones and other things, or those who are sleepy or intoxicated behind the wheel. A survey of drivers revealed that over one third routinely cross into intersections on red lights. This places their own passengers, those in other vehicles and pedestrians in mortal danger. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recommends the following proactive measures to prevent such collisions:

  • More red-light cameras, although South Dakota laws prohibit these
  • Roundabouts to replace traditional intersections
  • Vehicle-to-red-light communication in new automobiles
  • Self-driving vehicles

Because some of these solutions are decades away from feasibility and others would require massive financial investments from state and local governments, it is not likely that these life-saving technologies will be universal anytime soon. This means you and other drivers will have to remain at the mercy of those who fail or refuse to consider the wellbeing of others on the road.

If you are among the hundreds whose lives have turned upside down after a driver ran a red light, you may be dealing with many confusing emotions. Perhaps it is not in your nature to consider filing a lawsuit, but you may wonder what options you have for obtaining the compensation you need to get your life back on track following this tragedy. With the help of a skilled and determined attorney, you may be able to reach your goal and move forward with your life.