If there is one thing that we’ve continued to preach throughout our blogs, it’s that nothing is more important than arriving alive. I know how tempting it can be to press the gas a little bit harder or to drive a bit more recklessly when you’re running late. In our line of work, we see the consequences caused by this every single day. They are tragic. Every day people receive life-changing injuries or even lose their lives because somebody wanted to get somewhere a bit quicker.
Recent statistics published about deaths caused by drivers running red lights drives this home.
Deaths from Running Red Lights Reaches Decade High
According to a recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, we recently witnessed the most deaths from drivers running red lights in 10 years. In 2009, there were 715 people killed by drivers running red lights. In 2017, the most recent year we have numbers available, that number ballooned to 939. That’s a 31% increase in only 10 years.
- At least 2 people are killed every day in the U.S. by drivers running red lights
The numbers in the study cover deaths from drivers, passengers and pedestrians. The AAA is calling for drivers across the country to use increased caution at traffic signals. For pedestrians and cyclists, they recommend the same.
- More than 25% of deaths that happen at traffic lights are caused by drivers running red lights
- Almost half of those killed in red light running crashes were passengers or people in other cars
What’s Causing this Increase in Traffic Signal Deaths?
The study made no attempt to find the reason for this increase, we can probably offer up our own potential factors. One of these factors is that Americans are driving more than ever. Over the same period that running red light deaths increased, so did the number of miles traveled.
In my opinion, the biggest factor is most likely distracted driving. If you’ve read our blogs before, this will come as no surprise to you. It’s something we talk about constantly because of what a massive problem it has becomes. And continues to be.
Drivers are constantly taking their eyes off of the road to check their phones. It only takes a few seconds for a light to turn red. If your eyes are on your phone and not the road, it would be easy to drive right through a red light without noticing. A few seconds can be the difference between life and death while driving.
What Should We Do to Fix the Red Light Running Problem?
The most important thing you can do is keep your eyes on the road and keep your speed at a reasonable level. You need to notice a red light and have time to slow down to a stop. Beyond that, here are a couple tips from the AAA for drivers:
- Prepare to Stop
When you approach an intersection, take your foot off the gas. Keep it above the brake pedal in case you need to make a quick stop.
- Use Good Judgment
Have you noticed that the light ahead has been green for a long time? That should be an indicator that it may be turning soon. Be prepared to stop if you see the light turn yellow.
- Tap the Brake
Before applying full pressure, the AAA recommends tapping your brake a couple of times. Your brake lights may help notify other drivers of your intent to stop if they aren’t paying attention.
- Drive Defensively
We should all be doing this constantly, but it’s a good reminder. Your life, or the lives of others, are not worth arriving a couple of minutes earlier. Pay close attention every time you are about to enter an intersection and follow safe driving tips.
Contact the Brooks Law Group
You can do everything right on the road and still be in an accident. We see clients every day that were involved in accidents caused by others. If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s recklessness or negligence, an experienced car crash attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve. We’ve been providing valuable legal and injury guidance to our community for more than 25 years.
If you need an attorney in the Tampa, Winter Haven or Lakeland area, Look to Brooks. We’re committed to providing the best possible client experience to everyone who walks in our doors. If we don’t recover money for your injuries, you won’t owe us anything. Start your journey to justice today by calling our offices at 1-800-LAW-3030 (800-529-3030) or by filling out the ‘Contact Us’ form on our website.