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What Evidence May Be Used to Prove a Red Light-Running Crash?  

car at red light

Traffic lights are installed, often at intersections to maintain sanity on the roads. They instruct drivers when to stop, get ready, or go. Unfortunately, drivers sometimes run red lights, either accidentally or consciously, perhaps to avoid running late. While anyone can get away with running a red light, the consequences of this act can sometimes be catastrophic. A lot of accidents occur each year, a significant number of which stem from running a red light. This is why if you are caught running a red light, you can receive a ticket, a citation, or even face legal repercussions. It is also why the act is considered aggressive or reckless driving in many states. 

If you or someone you love has been involved in a car crash where the other driver ran a red light, you could be eligible to file a compensation claim against them or their insurer, with the help of an accident attorney. Your car accident lawyer can help you gather evidence to prove that indeed, the other driver was at fault for the crash because they failed to obey traffic signals. 

Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers have represented injured clients for close to 50 years who have been hit by drivers running red lights.

Running Run a Red Light  

You reach an intersection, the traffic lights turn red, but you continue driving through the intersection instead of stopping. This is what it means to run a red light. And as you might very well know, red tells the driver to stop, whereas green means go. Apart from intersections, red-light running may also occur at pedestrian crossings.   

The law considers running a red light as aggressive driving, making it a legal offense. It increases the chances of causing or getting involved in an accident with other vehicles, pedestrians, or even objects on the roadside. By running a red light, the driver risks facing severe sanctions if not criminal penalties, that’s if they’re lucky enough not to find themselves in a fatal car crash. 

Red-light running doesn’t always mean that the driver is mindless of their safety or that of other road users. Sometimes it occurs accidentally, for instance when the lights turn red so swiftly that the driver cannot brake safely and in time. Running a red light is running a red light despite the reason, but proving it in an accident compensation case can be quite a bummer unless you have sufficient evidence and are working with a reputed accident attorney.   

Red Light Running Accident Research and Statistics  

  • Red-light running is a common cause of some of the most gruesome accidents on the roads. A 1999 study estimated the number of red-light running accidents in the US to be around 260,000 each year, with nearly 750 fatalities from these. The same study showed that in most of these crashes, the red light runners were youthful males driving at night, more than half of them driving under the influence. 
  • A 2015 study also indicated that more than 200,000 people fall victim to red-light running crashes each year, with around 60 fatalities monthly in the US alone. This translates into 2 fatalities each day, just because someone else wasn’t patient enough to wait for the lights to turn green! 
  • A 2019 report by the AAA Foundation further revealed that red-light running crashes claim more than 2 people each day in the US, with drivers, pedestrians, passengers, and cyclists included. The analyzed data further indicated that 28 percent of fatal crashes happened at intersections with traffic signals where a driver ran a red light.  

Why Do People Run Red Lights?   

As earlier mentioned, there’s a long list of reasons why someone could possibly run a red light. While most of them are circumstantial, a considerable number of them are as a result of pure carelessness and negligence. Some of the excuses people give for failing to stop at the red signal or yield right of way include: 

  • The driver couldn’t stop in time 
  • Impatience 
  • In a hurry somewhere 
  • Utter carelessness about road safety 
  • Distracted driving 
  • Driving while intoxicated 
  • Tiredness 
  • Visibility issues 
  • Malfunctioned traffic lights   

If an accident happened at an intersection and you suspect or know the at-fault driver ran a red light, a seasoned car accident lawyer could help prove your case in court and see to it that you get the compensation you deserve for the damages suffered. 

Kinds of Evidence That May Prove Red Light Running  

It can sometimes be extremely challenging to prove that an accident occurred as a result of running a red light. However, this all depends on the evidence you have and how convincing it is to the judge and the jury. As a matter of fact, your accident compensation case doesn’t even have to proceed to trial if you have solid evidence to prove the traffic violation. 

Here are a few critical types of evidence that a Flora Stuart accident attorney may help you acquire to prove your case or negotiate a settlement after falling victim to a red-light running crash. 

  • Traffic cam footage – Many intersections and traffic light spots have red-light cameras these days. If there was a functional traffic camera near the scene of the accident, the photo or video footage can help prove that the at-fault driver ran a red light. 
  • Eyewitness testimony – If any was nearby when the crash happened, the accounts of an eyewitness can help solidify your case. 
  • Police Report – Law enforcement officers are usually among the first people to arrive at the scene of an accident. They usually record statements and file a report on exactly what took place before, during, and after the accident. They may also be accompanied by investigators to help determine who might have been at fault. The report they file could help prove your case. 
  • Driver statement admitting fault – If the other driver apologized or admitted to being at fault at the scene, their confession (especially if someone recorded it) could work to your advantage as a red light running crash victim. 
  • Dashboard cam footage – There’s also a chance that the dashboard camera of one or more of the vehicles at the crash scene might have captured the incident. 
  • Recordings from neighboring video surveillance systems – If the intersection or crash scene is within a town, city, or busy street, check around for any nearby CCTV surveillance systems. The footage might help prove your case. 


flora kent desk working

While many red-light running cases are simply accidental, the insurmountable agony they cause in the event of an accident cannot be overlooked. If not fatal, the victims of many of these crashes are left suffering physically, emotionally, and financially. The good thing is that there are various ways to prove that another driver ran a red light and should therefore be liable for the car crash. 

With the help of a good team of accident attorneys, you have higher chances of successfully recovering various damages in monetary compensation, including medical bills, disability, after-treatment care costs, lost wages, and sometimes even punitive damages. 

With close to 50 years of experience representing clients injured in red light accidents, call us 24/7 at 888-782-9090 or contact us online to talk to get a free consultation with one of our top attorneys. If you cannot come to us, let us travel to you. 

Author Photo

Flora Templeton Stuart

Flora Templeton Stuart is the lead attorney and founder of the law firm Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers, established in 1976. She is a nationally recognized personal injury lawyer with over 40 years of experience. Her story has been featured on Fox, The New York Times, ABC, Time, and NBC.