Stopping for a red light, for most drivers, feels like one of the naturalist parts of driving a car. It’s second nature. They’d never just drive through, putting themselves and others at risk.

However, the statistics show that people actually do this all the time. For instance, 771 people died in accidents where one driver ran a red light in 2015. There were so many of these accidents that around 137,000 people got hurt, even when they survived.

It’s not just red light runners who are in danger. It’s actually more likely for people in other cars, cyclists or pedestrians to be killed than it is for the red light runner to pass away in the crash.

Why does it happen? Studies have been done over the years to see if there are any consistent traits with red light runners, and one found that they were young drivers who had traffic violations on their record already. For instance, people who ran lights were over three times as likely to already have numerous convictions on their records for speeding. In other words, young, high-risk drivers tend to run red lights.

Another study found that male drivers were more likely to run lights than female drivers. Furthermore, they were more likely to have convictions for driving under the influence and to have been involved in car accidents in the past. Many did not have valid driver’s licenses when they crashed. Two main factors that caused them to run the light were alcohol and speed.

Regardless of why someone runs a red light, those who are injured in these accidents must know what legal options they have.

Source: IIHS, “Red light running,” accessed March 23, 2018