It’s easy to assume that a green light means that you can drive safely. As soon as the light turns green, many drivers simply press the gas and pull out into the intersection.
That’s a much different mentality than when they’re at a stop sign, which is when they look to make sure that there’s no cross traffic that is going to get involved in an accident. In general, drivers assume that a green light means that this has already been prevented.
Unfortunately, that’s certainly not what the light means. Every year, nearly 1,000 people are killed in accidents when drivers run red lights. The green light is an indicator of what should happen, but not necessarily what will. It’s still smart to look both ways and make sure the traffic is clear before proceeding.
In fact, stoplights can actually increase the odds that this type of accident occurs. When some drivers see that the light has turned yellow, rather than prudently slowing down to come to a stop in time, they will speed up and try to make it through before the light turns red. This leads to a lot of easily preventable accidents.
Are you obligated to do so?
One important thing to note is that you’re not obligated to look both ways. If you fail to do so and you end up getting hit by a driver who is running a red light, the accident is still that driver’s fault. This safety tip can help you avoid a crash, but it doesn’t change the liability or responsibility in a crash.
With that in mind, if you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in such an accident, you need to know how to seek financial compensation.