The year 2017 saw a 10-year high in the number of deaths arising from red-light running crashes. The total came to 939 people, and in most cases, it was not the offending driver who died. Pennsylvania residents, whether they are drivers, pedestrians or bicyclists, will want to know how they can prevent themselves from becoming the victim of a reckless, impatient or distracted driver.

The first step is for residents to avoid distractions themselves. Drivers should not use their phones. If they look down for five seconds, drivers can virtually travel the length of a football field before looking up again. Pedestrians and cyclists should not wear headphones, which will reduce their attention to their surroundings.

Secondly, drivers should be alert when approaching intersections. Cover the brakes and watch out for any stale green lights. Usually, one can tell that a green light will turn yellow when the flashing orange hand appears on the passenger crossing signal. Drivers can tap their brakes a couple of times before coming to a stop; that way, the driver behind them, if distracted, will become alert.

Pedestrians and cyclists alike should try to be in a high-visibility area. Before crossing, they should wait a few seconds to ensure that vehicles have stopped. They can make eye contact with the driver, too.

Those who incur a personal injury at the hands of a red-light runner may have good grounds for an accident claim. In Pennsylvania, plaintiffs can recover damages in a personal injury claim as long as they are 50% or less at fault. To learn more about personal injury laws and how they apply to the case, victims may wish to consult with an attorney. If retained, the attorney might handle every step from the filing to the negotiating of a settlement.