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Deadly Crash in Chatham Caused by Running a Red LightMultiple people are hospitalized and one person is dead after a deadly crash in the South Side’s Chatham area last night. A 35-year-old man ran a red light and hit a car with four people in it, causing both vehicles to spin out and one to catch fire. The driver’s condition is stable, but two of the passengers in the other car were in serious condition last night, and the third passenger is stable. The other driver was pronounced dead at University of Chicago Medical Center.

Our hearts go out to the families of the victim, and to those who are injured. We hope for a speedy and full recovery.

Why are so many people running red lights?

This terrible tragedy comes only a couple of days after another South Side driver ran a red light and crashed into a semi-truck. That driver was dragged for about 100 feet before the truck driver realized he was stuck. Her condition was listed as stable, too. And in July, a man who ran a red light caused a five-car crash in the South Shore. Luckily, no one was injured.

The problem, however, is not unique to Chicago. In 2019, a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report found that the number of red light crashes had increased over the last decade, saying “More than two people are killed every day on U.S. roads by impatient and reckless drivers blowing through red lights.” Per their data:

  • “28% of crash deaths that occur at signalized intersections are the result of a driver running through a red light.
  • Per capita, Arizona has the highest rate of red light running fatalities while New Hampshire has the lowest rate.
  • Nearly half (46%) of those killed in red light running crashes were passengers or people in other vehicles and more than 5% were pedestrians or cyclists. Just over 35% of those killed were the drivers who ran the red light.”

Ironically, Chicago’s red light violations were actually down in the earlier part of the year. Per the Sun-Times, “in Chicago, red-light violations were down 45% in March compared to the month before, according to city figures. And compared to March 2019, red-light violations in Chicago were down 54%, numbering just 19,840 in March 2020 compared to 42,812 in March 2019.”

Of course, this decrease coincided with the coronavirus shutdown, which may explain why numbers are rising again; after all, more cars on the road mean an increased risk of someone running a red light.

If you were injured in a crash with someone running a red light, you have options to recover compensation for your injuries and losses. At Gainsberg Law, we have been fighting for drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and families for decades. We fight for the injured and for those whose loved ones have died. To schedule a free consultation with a Chicago car accident lawyer, 312.900.9654 or use our contact form. We handle car accident cases on a contingency fee basis.