Motor vehicle accidents in Oregon are a leading cause of serious and potentially life-threatening personal injuries. One of the most common places for crashes and collisions to happen is in intersections and often due to red light running. During the month of August, a nationwide public service campaign on social media hopes to raise awareness of the risks. Our Portland car accident lawyer offers tips on how to do your part in protecting yourself, your passengers, and others on the road.
#StopOnRed: Raising Awareness of The Dangers Of Red Light Running
Each year during the month of August, the National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) holds its Stop On Red campaign. It encouraged social media users across the nation to share the hashtag #StopOnRed as a way of raising awareness of the risks.
Red light running poses major dangers and is a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents. In addition to increasing the likelihood of car, truck, motorcycle, and bus accidents in Oregon, it poses major hazards to bicyclists, pedestrians, skateboarders, and others on the road.
Part of raising awareness includes providing a more complete definition of what red light running really means. In addition to intentionally failing to stop at traffic signals that have turned red, it also includes:
- Speeding up to get through an intersection after a light has switched to yellow;
- Inching into the intersection to get a jump on traffic prior to a light turning green;
- Not paying attention and running red lights unintentionally;
- Making a legal ‘right on red’ despite traffic approaching from the opposite direction;
- Failing to come to a complete stop at stop signs.
How Running Red Lights Increases Personal Injury Risks
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), red lighting running is a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents in the United States. Each year, it claims close to 1,000 victims while leaving tens of thousands of other motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians suffering serious and potentially debilitating harm.
Unfortunately, despite the risks, nearly a third of all drivers admit to either intentionally or unintentionally running a red light at some point over the past months. Ways in which it increases the likelihood of possible life-threatening personal injuries include:
- Often causes either side-impact, t-bone crashes and head-on collisions, two of the most violent and potentially fatal types of car accidents;
- As drivers tend to be traveling at high speeds when running a red light, the force of impact increases the amount of harm victims in other vehicles are likely to suffer;
- Failure to stop at a red light or even apply the brakes can mislead other motorists behind them, triggering multi-vehicle collisions;
- Higher rates of speed and lack of braking make it nearly impossible for bicyclists, pedestrians, and scooter or skateboard users to get to safety and, with little to protect them, can result in catastrophic injuries.
How To Prevent Red Light Running Car Accidents In Oregon
To help reduce the rates of red light running accidents, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has installed red light cameras at intersections throughout major cities.
Red light cameras can help to discourage drivers from engaging in dangerous and illegal behavior while providing law enforcement with a highly efficient and effective means of citing offenders. It can also help motor vehicle accident victims and their families, providing valuable evidence that can be used when dealing with insurers or when seeking compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
What can you do to reduce the risks of red light running accidents in Oregon? Taking the following steps can help to protect you, your passengers, and others on the road:
- Use caution when approaching any intersection;
- Even if you have a green light, be alert for other drivers entering the road;
- Pay attention to what is going on several vehicles in advance and avoid tailgating other motorists;
- If a light turns yellow, slow your vehicle rather than racing to get through it;
- Make sure there is no traffic approaching when making a right on red;
- Come to a complete stop at stop signs and look in all directions before proceeding.
Contact Our Portland Car Accident Lawyer
At the Johnston Law Firm, we protect the rights of victims and their families when any type of motor vehicle accident happens. To get the compensation you need to recover, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Oregon car accident lawyer online and request a consultation.