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National Stop on Red Week

What happens if you run a red light in Michigan, and tips to prevent red light running car accidents

I always say that car accidents are really not “accidents.” Most car crashes are due to inattention, distracted driving or corporate negligence (especially in truck cases). As a car accident lawyer for nearly 20 years, I can tell you that when people are hurt and killed in “accidents” that involved red light running, it is completely devastating. Imagine hurting or killing someone just because you wanted to save a couple of seconds and carelessly ran a red light…

Accidents from running red lights are 100 percent preventable. This week is National Stop on Red week, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. This is a week to raise awareness of the dangers of running red lights, and to get people remembering that even when the light is “pink,” it’s better to stop safely.

If we can take this advice and use it year round, you would be astonished at the number of car accident injuries and deaths that could be prevented. Consider the facts, according to the Federal Highway Administration:

  • An estimated 165,000 motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians are injured annually by red-light runners.
  • Half of the people killed by red light runners are not the signal violators – they are passengers, other motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Nearly 93 percent of drivers believe running a red light is unacceptable, yet 1 in 3 drivers reported doing so in the past month.
  • There are an average of seven fatal crashes and over 1,000 injury crashes EVERY DAY at signalized intersections across the country.

What happens if you run a red light in Michigan?

Aside from the risk of injuring or killing yourself or someone else, if you run a red light Michigan, you also risk a ticket and moving violation on your driving record, vehicle damage and higher auto insurance costs.

In Michigan, running a red light is considered a civil infraction. As of now, you could receive a $100 ticket and two points on your license. Here’s the Michigan Law on disobeying traffic signals.

3 tips to prevent red light running tragedies

Below are three easy tips that can help you prevent accidents caused by running red lights. The first step starts with you.

  1. Decide now that you will always be prepared to “Stop on Red” as a driver, bicyclist or pedestrian.
  2. Obey the speed limits so you have time and space to stop prior to entering the intersection.
  3. When the traffic light turns green, look in all directions for red light runners before proceeding.

– Steven Gursten is head of Michigan Auto Law. He frequently writes and speaks on safe driving and Michigan auto laws, and is available for comment.

 – Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Benimoto

Related information:

Michigan safe driving tips

Michigan Auto Law exclusively handles car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state of Michigan. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Detroit. Call (800) 777-0028 to speak with one of our attorneys.

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