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Phoenix Drunk Driver Runs Red Light, Causes Fatal Collision

Earlier this week, Phoenix Police responded to an accident caused by a driver that is believed to have been under the influence of alcohol, according to ABC 15 news. The driver failed to yield a red light and caused a collision early Tuesday morning, killing one person and injuring himself and a pregnant woman.The driver of a Mercury Sable ran a red light at the intersection of McDowell Road and 35th Avenue and hit a GMC truck, which caused the GMC to spin and hit a third vehicle, a Mercury Grand Marquis.

The Sable driver was not wearing his seatbelt and was seriously injured in the collision. He received treatment at an area hospital and his condition is not known at this time. The driver of the GMC was ejected from his vehicle and died as a result of his injuries. It appears the pregnant driver of the Grand Marquis sustained no life-threatening injuries but was transported to a local hospital for observation.

Phoenix has numerous collisions every year that are caused by a driver running a red light. Unfortunately these collisions often result in injuries and sometimes even death.

In 2008, there were 2,044 fatalities at intersections controlled by traffic lights in the United States. Of those fatalities, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes that 762 were caused when a driver ran a red light. As was the case in the recent Arizona crash discussed above, many of those killed are people other than the at-fault driver. Passengers in the at-fault driver’s vehicle, drivers and passengers in other vehicles, and even pedestrians are at risk when someone runs a red light.

The use of red light cameras at Phoenix intersections has been controversial over the last few years. The cameras are designed to photograph or film cars that do not stop for a solid red light so that the driver of the vehicle can be issued a citation, thus enforcing the law and raising revenue through fine collection. However new research suggests that the presence of red light cameras at intersections might also reduce collisions caused by running a red light.

A new study shows that red light cameras at intersections encourage motorists to be more cautious than at intersections without the cameras, making drivers more likely to stop for a red light when a camera is involved. This in turn has led to a decline in the number of red light related intersection collisions in Virginia, according to the study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The study showed that the cameras had the most significant effect of curbing red light violations that occurred long after the light changed: approximately 1.5 seconds after the light changed to red and longer. These are the red light violations most likely to cause a collision because traffic in the other direction often has entered the intersection by this time.

Regardless of whether or not a traffic camera is used at an intersection, it is never a good idea to run a red light. Doing so is illegal and can earn you a traffic ticket and a fine as well as other civil penalties. More importantly, running red lights hurts hundreds of thousands of people every year and causes hundreds of deaths. When driving, slow down and stop for red lights to keep yourself and everyone else on the road safe.

Red light collisions hurt Phoenix residents every day. If you or a family member has been injured by a driver that ran a light, call an Arizona car accident lawyer at Abels & Annes, P.C. today. We will provide you with a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and any causes of action you may have. We are available 24 hours a day so please call us at (855) PHX-LAWYER now.


Phoenix fatal crash: 1 dead, 2 injured in Arizona crash,, April 16, 2013.

Traffic Safety Facts 2008, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2008.

Study provides more evidence that cameras reduce red light running; decrease is biggest for most dangerous violations well into red cycle, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, January 24, 2013.

Prior Blogs:

Increase in pedestrian accident fatalities in Arizona and across the Nation, Phoenix Injury Lawyers Blog, March 19, 2013.

Mother and daughter seriously injured by a drunk driver in Phoenix, Phoenix Injury Lawyers Blog, March 12, 2013.

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