AAA reported that 939 people died in red-light running crashes in 2017. This marks a 10-year high and a 28% increase from 2012. Residents of Mississippi no doubt understand that running a red light is against the law as well as dangerous. Eighty-five percent of respondents in a AAA survey said they understood as well, yet in that same survey, one in three drivers admitted to running a red light in the previous 30 days.
Not only that, but two in five drivers also mentioned that they are not particularly afraid that the police would catch them. It’s clear, then, that lack of awareness is not the problem but rather lack of deterrents. This is where experts recommend red-light cameras, which take pictures of red-light runners and allow the police to ticket them. Tickets can reduce traffic violations in general by 40%, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
While some drivers may run a red light out of inattention, most intentionally do so by speeding. According to the National Safety Council, speeding is the leading cause of fatal car crashes. This was followed by drunk and distracted driving. The NSC did notice, however, that there was a slight decrease in traffic deaths overall. The year 2018 saw around 40,000 traffic deaths: 1% fewer than in 2017.
When motor vehicle crashes are caused by aggressive, distracted or drunk driving, among other forms of negligence, then those who were injured may be able to seek compensation. Mississippi follows the rule of pure comparative fault, which does not bar victims from recovery even if they are 99% at fault. Obviously, those who bear most of the blame for a crash will have a harder time pursuing a case. Whatever their degree of fault, victims may consider a legal consultation.