Reasonable drivers in Shelby County know what a red light means. Unfortunately, many less considerate drivers think of red lights as a suggestion, not a warning to stop and wait their turn. And when a motorist drives through a red light, a deadly car accident can be the result.
Such tragedies happen everywhere in the U.S. but are especially common here in Kentucky. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety ranks the Bluegrass State seventh in the nation for car crash deaths caused by a driver running a red light, per capita. After analyzing crash data from 2008-2017, the AAA Foundation found that there were 3.4 such fatalities per 1 million residents in Kentucky. In raw numbers, 150 people were killed in wrecks due to someone ignoring a red traffic light.
That may not sound like a huge number, but compared to Kentucky’s more populous neighbors on a per-capita basis, the problem becomes clear. Ohio ranked 24th in red light car accident deaths per capita, Illinois was 21st, and Tennessee was 28th.
More and more red light accident deaths
Nationwide, these types of accidents are getting more common. The AAA Foundation reports that deaths due to running a red light jumped nearly 30 percent from 2012 to 2017. You might think that the person most at risk would be the reckless driver themselves. But that’s not the case. The data suggests that nearly 65 percent of those killed were not the person responsible. Even when the crash only involves a single vehicle, a passenger could be the one who pays the price. Or a pedestrian trying to cross the street with the light.
Confronting the responsible driver in court
After a tragic death in a car accident, the deceased’s family often faces having to pay household expenses without one of their primary breadwinners. On top of that, the family will never enjoy the companionship or support of the victim again. Besides possibly helping to make up for the financial harm their loved one’s death has caused, wrongful death litigation can help families feel that they have received a form of justice against the negligent driver.