Probably the first advice that everyone gets about staying safe around traffic is to look both ways before they cross the street. Once they become old enough to drive, the same idea applies when crossing a street, perhaps at a two-way stop. It just takes a second to check and see if there is enough space to cross safely.
However, many people do not do this when they’re at a traffic light. Instead, they simply watch the light to see when it goes from red to green. As soon as it does, then they know that it is legally their turn and so they drive forward across the street or into the intersection.
This is still risky, and it is still important to look both ways.
Traffic controls don’t actually control traffic
The idea behind traffic lights is to control the flow of traffic so that all vehicles move smoothly and safely. If everyone obeys the light, this works perfectly well. But you always have to remember that the control devices don’t actually control the traffic at all. Someone who doesn’t see the light or simply decides to ignore it can still drive straight through that intersection and hit your vehicle.
This happens all the time. Some studies have found that more than 800 people have died in a single year (2019), while over 140,000 people have suffered injuries in accidents caused by those who run red lights. You can’t always avoid these hazards, but looking both ways may protect you and those in your car if you see a vehicle that doesn’t look like it’s going to stop in time.
What should you do if you get injured?
If you do get hit by a driver who runs a red light and you wind up with serious injuries, then it’s important to know about all of your options to seek financial compensation.