According to AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety, red light fatalities are at a 10-year high. Since 2012, the number of people killed by drivers running through red lights has spiked 28%. These shocking statistics have safety experts scrambling to understand why, especially as vehicle safety technology has improved vastly in the last decade.
The AAA also reports that in 2017, 939 people were killed when other drivers ran red lights. This is the highest death toll since 2008 and accounts for at least two fatalities every single day in the United States.
Why Are So Many Drivers Running Red Lights?
Of all the crash deaths that occur at intersections, 28% are caused by drivers who ran a red light. Researchers and safety experts are not sure why red light fatalities are on the rise; however, there are some theories.
Some suspect that distracted driving plays a large role in this spike. As more drivers multi-task behind the wheel of a car, they miss critical changes in traffic patterns, including changing stop lights. When drivers are texting, talking on the phone or using their GPS, they may fail to notice when a light is changing.
Others suspect that poorly timed lights may be to blame for this spike in red light fatalities. When yellow light cycles are too short, this can result in serious injury and accidents as drivers may get caught running through an intersection during a red light.
How to Avoid a Red Light Accident
Drivers, pedestrians and cyclists all have a responsibility to share the road safely. This means remaining alert at all times, especially when crossing an intersection. In order to avoid a red light accident, AAA recommends that drivers, cyclists and pedestrians take the following precautions:
- Drivers should prepare to stop when they see a yellow light
- Drivers should tap their brakes when approaching a light to warn others of a possible stop
- Drivers should wait a second or two after a light changes green before proceeding
- Drivers should check to see if crossing traffic has stopped before entering an intersection
- Pedestrians and cyclists should take a couple of seconds to ensure traffic has stopped before crossing
- Pedestrians and cyclists should make eye contact with drivers
- Pedestrians and cyclists should be visible at all times
- Pedestrians and cyclists should avoid wearing headphones or using smartphones while walking or riding
Contact Our Austin Car Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, then we can help. Our experienced Austin car accident attorneys know that injured accident victims fight an uphill battle for compensation after a crash. Insurance companies do not always play fair after red light accidents. They may even try to pin some of the blame back on you. When this occurs, we can fight aggressively for your rights. Contact the Law Offices of Aaron Allison at (512) 474-8346 or fill out our confidential contact form for a free initial consultation.