When New Hampshire Drivers Run Red Lights
Traffic lights in New Hampshire are installed for a reason — to keep the flow of traffic moving safely at intersections. However, drivers who increase speed when a traffic light turns yellow, or who run a red light altogether, put responsible road users at risk.
In a combined effort to prevent accidents at traffic lights, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the American Automobile Association (AAA), Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and National Safety Council (NSC) are urging municipalities to increase the use of red light cameras, according to The Drive.
Accidents caused by drivers who run red lights are more prevalent than you think
According to the IIHS, fatal accidents caused by drivers who run red lights have increased by 17 percent between 2012 and 2016 across the United States. The statistics state that:
- There were a total of 696 traffic fatalities in 2012, which was only one of three years to have fewer than 700 deaths since 2000.
- 2016 had a total of 811 traffic fatalities, which marked the highest number of deaths since 2007 (914 fatalities).
There are a number of reasons why drivers run red lights. Sometimes, it's because they're in a hurry and wrongly prioritize speed over safety. Some other reasons include:
- Distracted driving
- Excessive speeding
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Slippery road conditions
Why red light cameras are important
Red light cameras can be beneficial to crash victims when it comes to proving negligence. In many cases, it can be difficult to prove who was at fault in an intersection accident. If the accident involved a hit-and-run, the camera footage can identify the at-fault driver.
New Hampshire law (Title XXI, Chapter 264) doesn't require drivers to carry auto insurance. If you carry uninsured motorist coverage (UIM), you can be compensated for your medical expenses and lost wages after a hit-and-run accident. However, if you don't have this coverage, you may be forced to pay for your recovery out of your own pocket — unless you're able to identify the at-fault driver. Red light cameras can help police identify the vehicle in the case of a hit-and-run.
The risk exists everywhere. The majority of accidents at traffic lights happen quickly and unexpectedly, with little time for the victim to evade a crash. Even the most responsible defensive driver is only as safe as the other motorists sharing the same road.
If you've been injured in an auto accident caused by a driver who ran a traffic light or stop sign, you may be eligible for compensation for your losses. An attorney at Burns, Bryant, Cox, Rockefeller & Durkin, P.A. can advocate for you and hold responsible parties accountable for their actions.