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A Sarasota Lawyer Explains Dangers And Causes Of Red Light Running Crashes

As an experienced Sarasota car accident lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh, I have witnessed all to often what is the most dangerous moment while driving. The answer, surprisingly, isn’t when you’re speeding on the interstate. It’s right here in town at the intersections near where you live and work – where many drivers make the dangerous choice of running a red light.

With all the current new technology and the increased implementation of traffic cameras, you’d expect a lot less drivers to be running red lights. Yet, red light running remains a persistent danger in Florida. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s findings prove red light running stands as the principal cause of urban traffic accidents.

When we say “drivers,” this information is not restricted to car drivers. Even semi-truck drivers, with large vehicles, can cause exponentially more significant damage. Due to the sheer size and weight of these trucks, their impact in accidents is often catastrophic.

An accident in Tampa this past May demonstrates this concern. A semi-truck driver, ignoring a red signal near Interstate 75, collided with three vehicles around 11 p.m. Two of these vehicles ended up trapped under the overturned trailer and were dragged for a significant distance. The outcome? Two drivers were trapped, and all three needed urgent medical attention after being extricated from the wreckage.

But the question remains – why do drivers, fully aware of the dangers, still run red lights? In the aforementioned accident, the truck driver believed he was still on the interstate. But this excuse is tough to swallow. As a Sarasota car accident lawyer, I’ve seen the following reasons people run red lights over and over again:

Impatience and Bad Judgement: Being in a rush might make one more likely to take risks. Many people just speed on ahead to “make the light” and when the light turns yellow they just step on the gas. This is one of the most dangerous situations and unfortunately the most common too.

We live in an age of immediacy. Quick replies, fast food, rapid deliveries – and sometimes, speeding vehicles. Time constraints, be it from running late for a meeting or catching a flight, can cause drivers to take undue risks. But as I often tell my clients, “Better late than never.”

Driver Fatigue: Exhaustion can drastically impair judgment.

The Silent Strain of Fatigue: We’ve all been there – pushing through one last errand or trying to make it home after a long day. Exhaustion, though, has a way of blurring our reflexes and judgment. A tired driver’s reaction time can mimic that of someone under the influence of alcohol, making them a potential danger to themselves and others.

Distractions: With smartphones, in-car displays, and other devices, or even eating or speaking with passengers, often drivers get distracted and lose focus.

The Digital Distraction Era: with today’s level of technological advancement, our cars often contain many built-in distracting screens and devices. Touch screens, smartphones connected to stereo systems, GPS – the list goes on. As convenient as these tools are, they’ve become a Pandora’s Box of distractions. An incoming text, a notification sound, or even the temptation to select a new playlist can divert a driver’s attention long enough to cause a deadly accident. As a Sarasota car accident lawyer, I’ve dealt with countless cases where a momentary glance at a phone led to irrevocable consequences.

Driving Under The Influence: Both alcohol and drugs can hinder a driver’s ability to make sound decisions.

Getting behind the wheel under the influence remains a danger. Alcohol and drugs, whether recreational or otherwise, cloud one’s cognition, impairing their ability to react promptly and make safe decisions. Every festive occasion should be paired with a designated driver, a cab, or a rideshare option.

Strong Medication: Over-reliance on certain prescription meds can lead to impaired driving.

People tend to underestimate the impact of medications on their driving capabilities. Some prescription meds, even when taken as directed, can cause drowsiness, dizziness, or other side effects that jeopardize road safety. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider about potential side effects and heed any warnings regarding machinery operation.

The aftermath of these decisions, particularly when involving heavy vehicles like trucks, is upsetting. We’re talking about severe, life-altering injuries, from broken femurs to paralysis, and tragically, even death. The consequences aren’t just physical but extend to the emotional and financial realms, affecting entire families.

Getting Compensated For Red-Light Runner Crashes

The lawyers of Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh, are always ready to assist you. If you have been in an accident in Sarasota with another driver who ran a red light, contact us for your 100% free case review. Local to Sarasota, our team has won over $500 million dollars for injured clients, call today and speak to an experienced attorney who will fight to win your accident case.

Stephen M. Fernandez developed a strong belief in justice and fairness in public policy while earning his Political Science degree prior to attending law school. Since joining the Florida Bar Association in 2004, Stephen Fernandez has combined his background in public policy, business administration and civil law to serve as a highly effective trial lawyer fighting for Florida's injured, working hard every day to make sure his clients get what they are owed.

A Sarasota Lawyer Explains Dangers And Causes Of Red Light Running Crashes

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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