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Fatalities caused by running red lights reach 10-year high

Twenty people were killed in New Jersey in 2017 by drivers who ran red lights, according to new statistics released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Nationwide, more than two people are killed each day by careless and reckless drivers who run stoplights.

The study says 939 people were killed across the country in 2017, the highest number in 10 years and a 28% increase since 2012. Due to those alarming numbers, AAA urges drivers to exercise more caution when approaching traffic lights, and for cyclists and pedestrians to stay alert.

Key findings from the latest statistics

New Jersey reported 152 fatalities from 2008 to 2017 caused by drivers who ran red lights. The state's average during that time is 1.7 fatalities per 1 million residents, which is lower than the national average of 2.4 deaths per million people. Other significant findings include:

  • Drivers running red lights were responsible for 28% of all crash deaths at intersections
  • Arizona has the highest average number of fatalities (5.0), while New Hampshire (0.4) has the lowest
  • 46% of the people killed were passengers or people in other vehicles
  • 35% of drivers who ran a red light were killed
  • 5% were cyclists or pedestrians

AAA urges drivers to change their behavior

The traffic safety group says drivers must exercise better judgment to reduce deaths caused by running red lights. They recommend drivers prepare to stop when approaching an intersection by watching for "stale" green lights, those that are likely to turn yellow by the time you arrive. The group also suggests drivers tap their breaks to let the driver behind then know they are slowing down, and always drive defensively when entering an intersection after the light has turned green.

Seek legal advice if injured in a crash

Accidents caused by distracted or careless drivers can cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries. If you are injured in a crash caused by someone's negligence, massive medical bills and other expenses can mount quickly, and your injuries may prevent you from going to work. An experienced personal injury attorney here in New Jersey will protect your rights and work to get you the compensation you deserve.

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