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Red-Light Running Deaths At 10-Year High


running red lights

The amount of deaths caused by drivers running red lights has hit a 10 year high, according -to an American Automobile Association (AAA) study. The study shows that 939 people died in crashes involving a red light being run in 2017.

This represents a 28% increase in deaths since 2012, and means that more than two people are killed every day in the United States when drivers run through red lights.

AAA says that 28% of automobile accident deaths which occur at intersections with traffic signals are caused by drivers who run through red lights. Arizona has the highest rate of deaths attributed to red light running, and New Hampshire has the lowest rate, according to AAA.

Fatality Statistics For Red-Light Running Accidents

The decision to run a red light often has disastrous consequences for people other than the driver who ran the red light: barely over 35% of those killed in red light running accidents were the driver who ran the red light. Almost half (46%) of those killed in these crashes were passengers or people in vehicles other than the red-light running vehicle, and over 5% were cyclists or pedestrians.

Drivers’ Attitudes Regarding Running A Red Light

AAA says that 85% of drivers say running a red light is very dangerous, yet almost one in three drivers admits to running through a red light in the last 30 days even though they could have stopped safely. Over 40% of drivers also say they think it’s unlikely that the police will stop them for running a red light, according to AAA.

How To Decrease Accidents Caused By Red-Light Runners

AAA says that properly implemented red light cameras reduce red light running crashes involving deaths by in large cities such as Los Angeles by 21%, and all fatal crashes in intersections with traffic signals by 14%.

“Cameras increase the odds that violators will get caught, and well-publicized camera programs discourage would-be violators from taking those odds. Camera enforcement is a proven way to reduce red light running and save lives,” said Jessica Cicchino, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Vice President for Research.

AAA recommends drivers do the following to prevent red light crashes:

  • Lay off the throttle and place your foot just above the brake pedal before entering intersections.
  • Pay close attention to lights that have been green for a long time.
  • Tap your brakes before fully applying them to warn drivers behind you that you’re about to slow down or stop.
  • Wait and look both ways before entering an intersection immediately after the light turns green.

Following these few simple precautions might just save your life, the life of your passengers, or the life of other drivers on the road. The accident attorneys of Nadrich & Cohen have represented hundreds of victims injured in accidents caused by other drivers who ran a red light. Pay attention, use caution, and the live you save may be your own.


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