There is a basic rule of driving safely that most of us learn long before we get our driver’s licenses. At a young age, we learn to stop for a red light. Yet, each year, drivers, passengers, and pedestrians are hurt and killed when a driver fails to stop for a red traffic signal in Kentucky. Nationwide, red light accident fatalities increased 17% from 2012 to 2016 despite state laws and known risks about driving through red lights.

Kentucky Traffic Light Laws

In Kentucky, all motorists must make a complete stop at a solid or flashing red traffic light. Additionally:

Drivers may turn right when there is a red traffic signal unless there is a sign that prohibits red turns on red lights.

Before a right turn may be made, however, the driver must come to a complete stop and yield to all pedestrians and oncoming traffic.

Drivers may turn left when there is a red traffic signal if they are turning from a one-way street on to another one-way street.

As with a right turn on red, the motorist making a left turn on red must come to a complete stop and then yield to pedestrians and other traffic.

In limited circumstances, a motorcycle may drive through a red light if the light doesn’t change for at least 120 seconds, and there is no traffic approaching the intersection. This is due to a motorcycle’s inability to trigger traffic light sensors.

Why Drivers Run Red Lights

Despite the clear rules described above, some drivers still run red lights. Even when a driver clearly understands the law, a driver may run a red light if, for example, the driver is:

Distracted.

Drivers who are distracted by cell phones, GPS units, passengers, or other things may fail to stop for red lights.

Drowsy.

Tired drivers may not recognize that there is a red light until it is too late.

Drunk.

Drunk drivers may also not recognize red lights until it is too late to stop safely.

Aggressive.

When a light turns yellow, some drivers speed up to try to get through the intersection, and they may not make it through the intersection before the light turns red.

Distracted, drowsy, drunk, or aggressive drivers may end up driving through an intersection with a red light signal or may slam on their brakes and stop abruptly in the intersection.

Red Light Crashes and Injuries

red traffic lights at kentucky intersection Gray & WhiteThe majority of red light accidents result in T-bone or angular collisions. In other words, the front of one vehicle hits the side of another vehicle. The occupants of the vehicle that is hit on its side can be very badly hurt because the sides of most cars lack the accident protection that is present in the front and back.

Some of the injuries that can result from these types of crashes include:

  • Neck and back injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Brain injuries
  • Internal injuries

Any of these injuries, if serious enough, could cause death.

Take Action If You’re Hurt in a Kentucky Red Light Accident

Drivers who fail to stop for red lights are usually responsible for any resulting accidents. However, before you can recover damages, you will have to prove that the other driver failed to stop for a red traffic light and that the failure to stop for the red light caused your injuries. This will require evidence, and our experienced Kentucky car accident lawyers can help you gather the evidence you need to make a strong case.

Typically, in Kentucky, you have one year to file a car accident case before the state statute of limitations expires. Therefore, you should contact a car accident lawyer quickly to protect your right to recover damages for past and future healthcare costs, lost income, out of pocket costs, physical pain, and emotional suffering.

Have You Been Injured In A Kentucky Car Accident?

If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Louisville office directly at 888.450.4456 to schedule a free consultation.

Mark K. Gray
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Louisville attorney serving the seriously injured in Kentucky

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