Should Illinois Ban the Right on Red Law?

 Posted on February 02,2024 in Personal Injury

Kane County, IL pedestrian accident lawyerApproximately 50 years ago, Illinois, along with most states in the country, changed its law so drivers could turn right at red lights. However, the law specifically states that a driver could turn right on red only after the vehicle comes to a complete stop. While the right turn on red rule is intended to expedite traffic flow, it poses significant dangers to pedestrians. Pedestrians are vulnerable road users, and the execution of right turns on red can create hazardous situations that compromise their safety. Unfortunately, the high number of pedestrians struck and injured or killed at these locations has resulted in some states and major cities, including Chicago, considering banning right-on-red laws. Anyone injured in a pedestrian accident should speak with an Illinois personal injury lawyer to determine what legal recourse they may have.

Pedestrian Dangers

According to statistics from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), more than 7,500 pedestrians were killed by vehicles in 2022. This is the highest number of fatalities the country has experienced since 1981.

Even more alarming is a study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) that found that the risk of someone being killed by a vehicle turning right is just 63 percent higher if the vehicle is an SUV and 89 percent higher if the vehicle is a pickup. Factors for this spike include the intense force impact due to the weight of these vehicles and the number of blind spots they have.

The following are some of the factors that the right-on-red rule puts pedestrians at high risk of being injured or killed:

Limited Visibility

The right turn on red often coincides with pedestrians having the right of way to cross the street. However, the turning driver's visibility may be obstructed by parked cars, buildings, or other structures, making it challenging to see pedestrians approaching or already in the crosswalk.

Failure to Yield

Some drivers may fail to yield to pedestrians when making a right turn on red. Whether due to impatience or oversight, this can result in pedestrians being forced to stop abruptly or navigate around turning vehicles. In such situations, pedestrians may risk tripping, falling, or colliding with the vehicle.

Turning Speeds

When drivers make right turns on red, they may need to adjust their speed more adequately for the presence of pedestrians. This can lead to higher turning speeds, making it more challenging for drivers to stop in time if a pedestrian suddenly appears in the crosswalk.

Inattentive Drivers

Some drivers may be focused solely on assessing oncoming traffic from the left and may not be attentive to pedestrians crossing from the right. Inattentiveness can result in drivers overlooking pedestrians in the crosswalk, leading to potential collisions.

Contact a Kane County, IL Pedestrian Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you will likely have incurred medical expenses and lost wages if you cannot work. At the same time, you recover from pain and suffering and other losses. All of these losses may be recoverable in a pedestrian accident claim. To find out what kind of financial compensation you may be entitled to, call Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. at 630-907-0909 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our skilled Aurora, IL pedestrian accident attorneys.

Share this post: