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Why people keep blowing through red lights

Intersections are dangerous in part because they create a false sense of safety. When the light is green your way and red the other way, you think you can drive without worry. You should be able to, theoretically, but the reality is that red light running is incredibly common. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 133,000 injuries and 683 deaths happened in 2012 because of red light running alone.

So, why does this happen? While all cases are different, there are some major causes.

First off, technology could play a role. People often feel rushed when they're driving and getting text messages, phone calls and social media alerts. This could lead them to speed up and try -- and fail -- to make a yellow light to avoid sitting in traffic. Other drivers may also be distracted by technology, trying to return those calls and texts, and may not even realize they're running the light.

Another potential issue is that the population in general is just growing larger. While roads can be updated, many are the same as they were decades ago. They're designed for far fewer people. With packed, cramped roads, accidents are more likely. In addition, if the road system can't actually handle the traffic, things bog down and people may try to run red lights because they're so tired of being mired in gridlock.

As the stats show, red light accidents cause a staggering amount of injuries and fatalities year in and year out. If you've been injured or lost a loved one, you may be able to seek financial compensation. Not only should you be aware of the risk and the reasons, but also of your legal options.

Source: Roadio, "Why do so many drivers run red lights?," Mi Ae Lipe, accessed Nov. 09, 2016

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Ben Schmitt

Attorney Ben Schmitt

Mr. Schmitt has over 25 years of legal experience in Missouri and Kansas, and he has been first chair in over 100 jury trials in state and federal courts. He is recognized by the Kansas City Business Journal, Super Lawyers, and Martindale Hubbell as one of the best personal injury lawyers in Missouri and Kansas.