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AAA: deaths from red light running crashes hit 10-year high

AAA has released a report on red light running in New York and across the U.S. A total of 939 people died in red light running crashes in 2017, the latest year for which there is car crash data. This number represents a 10-year high and a 28% increase when compared to 2012. One third of the victims were the offending drivers while the rest were occupants in the other vehicle, pedestrians or bicyclists.

The same AAA report found that while 85% of drivers acknowledge that running red lights is wrong, one in three drivers admitted to doing it at least once in the past 30 days. Two in five thought it unlikely that the police would catch them doing it. The trend should not be surprising; relatively few drivers will run a red light while inattentive or distracted whereas many do it knowingly out of impatience. Speeding is the form of improper driving that leads to the most car crash deaths.

According to some experts, stronger enforcement of traffic laws is necessary. This is where red light cameras can come in. A study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that cameras can reduce red light violations by as much as 40%. These cameras photograph vehicles that run red lights, allowing police to decide afterward whether to ticket them or not.

When motor vehicle crashes are clearly caused by another's negligence, the victims may be eligible for damages. These damages might cover things like medical costs, pain and suffering, vehicle repair or replacement costs and lost wages. Victims will first file with their own auto insurance company, and after that, they may file against the other's insurance company. A lawyer may evaluate the case and determine if victims are able to do so since New York is a no-fault state.

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