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Red-Light Runners Causing More Deaths in Recent Years

Drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists in Ohio, as in other states, run the risk of being struck by a driver who runs a red light. Crashes caused by people running red lights led to 939 deaths in 2017, a 10-year high. From 2012 to 2017, there has been a 30% increase in such deaths, according to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Every day across the U.S., two lives are claimed by impatient, distracted and reckless drivers.

In 65% of crashes, the person who dies is not the offending driver. Therefore, it's essential that people be on guard while behind the wheel. Drivers must be defensive drivers. Once the light turns green, they should not immediately accelerate but rather pause for a moment and then look both ways. When approaching an intersection, drivers should tap their brakes a few times in case the individuals behind them are distracted and need a reminder to pay attention.

Drivers should also watch out for stale green lights -- i.e. lights that are about to turn yellow. If the pedestrian crossing signal shows a flashing orange hand, it indicates that the light will soon turn yellow. At this time, pedestrians and cyclists must be on the defensive, too, and ensure that drivers come to a full stop before crossing. If possible, make eye contact with drivers. Headphones and other distractions should be avoided.

Red-light running crashes can form the basis for an injury claim. In general, those hurt in motor vehicle accidents through no fault of their own can file. In Ohio, even people who are partially to blame can file, though whatever amount they recover in damages will naturally be reduced to their degree of fault. To see if they have good grounds for a case, victims may want to consult with a lawyer. An attorney may handle all negotiations for a settlement.

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