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Dangers of Running Red Lights

Unfortunately, not everyone heeds the law. Sometimes, people are too impatient or too rushed to stop for the red light. They charge through the intersection, risking a wreck in their zeal to get where they are going without stopping. It's only logical that running a Texas red light would be dangerous and cause an accident. After all, if you have a red light, the other traffic has a green light and is expecting to be able to continue through the intersection without any problems. Ignoring traffic signals is one of the major causes of accidents. For example, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that in 2004, 900 people died and 168,000 were hurt in these types of accidents. In 2006, there were 14 deaths, 75 serious injuries and 487 minor injuries caused by drivers running Texas red lights in Dallas alone ("Dallas officials cite drop in accidents, tickets with red-light cameras" 11/20/07 Dallasnews.com). According to the Houston Police Department, car crashes that occurred as a result of running red lights cost the city a total of $225 million each year.

Because Texas red lights generally mark the intersection of two roads running different directions, most of the accidents that are caused by red-light running are T-bone collisions, where the front end of one vehicle slams into the side of the other vehicle. The severity of T-bone accidents depends on what part of the vehicle is struck and how fast each car is going, but they are more likely to cause serious injury or death than either front or rear-end collisions of the same severity. Even with crumple zones and side-impact air bags, the side of a car is the most vulnerable part of it in a collision. Can you imagine being in the driver's seat and having another car slam into the driver's side door?

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