Could Red Light Cameras Reduce Palm Beach Rear End Collisions?

Red light cameras are common throughout West Palm Beach, Flamingo Park and Wellington. These red light cameras are designed to solve a serious problem: the risk of death in side impact or T-bone crashes. However, while these cameras can reduce the number of side impact collisions that occur, a personal injury lawyer knows that this comes at a price: the risk of rear-end accidents has gone up. signal-1152453-m

Rear-end Accidents More Likely with Red Light Cameras

Safety 1st reports that there has been around a 20 percent increase in fatalities over the past two decades as a result of side impact collisions. One out of every four car accidents in the U.S. is a side impact crash, and one out of every three kids who is killed in a car crash dies because of a T-bone accident.

Many side impact crashes are caused by drivers who run red lights. As the Highway Safety Research Center reports, around 900 people are killed and 200,000 die every year due to drivers running lights. About half happen of these injuries and deaths happen in side impact collisions that occur when a driver runs a light. Pedestrian accidents are also very common when a driver runs a red light.

Red light cameras have largely been effective at reducing the number of drivers who go through red lights, which in turn has reduced the number of fatalities at intersections. The Highway Safety Research Center reported that red light cameras have reduced the number of light-running violations by as much as 70 percent and the average number of T-bone crashes has been reduced by as much as 25 percent after cameras were installed. The Washington Post also showed a 26 percent decline in traffic fatalities over five years in intersection with red light cameras.

The problem is, the Highway Safety Research Center also reports that there has been an average 15 percent increase in rear-end collisions at intersections where red light cameras are installed. Other studies have shown even more substantial increases in the number of rear-end accidents. The National Motorists Association has linked to newspaper reports nationwide showing that there may be many more collisions in intersections with cameras. In some cases, the collision risk as much as tripled in intersections where cameras were found.

The problem is that drivers who get tickets due to cameras tend to slam on the brakes next time they are at an intersection in order to avoid a future citation. This can come as a surprise to the motorist who is following the lead driver, causing a rear-end crash to occur.

Drivers need to be aware that they will likely encounter these cameras and should consider increasing their following distance as they approach an intersection that they know has a camera. That way, if the lead vehicle has to stop, they will have room to put on the brakes before causing a rear-end crash.

Accident lawyers in West Palm Beach can help injury victims in CityPlace, Flamingo Park and Wellington and surrounding areas. Call Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. today at 800-608-2965 or visit to schedule a free consultation. 

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