Fatal Accidents by Running a Red Light at Their Highest in a Decade

Fatal crashes caused by red light running at their highest in 10 years in the U.S. 6 photos
2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 at C&D Lighting Lap 20182019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 at C&D Lighting Lap 20182019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 at C&D Lighting Lap 20182019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 at C&D Lighting Lap 20182019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 at C&D Lighting Lap 2018
Impatient drivers or those who are not paying attention to traffic and run a red light at an intersection are causing more fatal accidents than ever in the last 10 years, AAA warns.
A new study from the American Automobile Association’s Foundation for Traffic Safety notes that fatal crashes caused by running red lights have reached a peak in 2017 with 939 people killed across the U.S., which marks a 28 percent boost since 2012, AAA says.

On average, 2 people are killed every day in the U.S. by impatient or inattentive drivers who run red lights. Arizona has the highest rate of fatalities of this type of accident, with New Hampshire at the opposite pole.

The same study reveals that only 35 percent of the victims of these crashes were the drivers themselves. Almost half of the fatalities (46 percent) were passengers in the car or people in other vehicles, and 5 percent were pedestrian or cyclists.

Most drivers (85 percent) know that running a red light is very dangerous, yet 1 in 3 did so in the 30 days prior to the survey, even though they admit they could have stopped safely. The same survey reveals that 2 in 5 drivers believe they won’t be pulled over by the police if they do run a red light.

“Drivers who decide to run a red light when they could have stopped safely are making a reckless choice that puts other road users in danger,” Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, says of the findings. “The data shows that red light running continues to be a traffic safety challenge. All road safety stakeholders must work together to change behavior and identify effective countermeasures.”

“Deaths caused by red light running are on the rise,” Jessica Cicchino, IIHS Vice President for Research, adds. “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.”

Another proven way to reduce fatalities is changing driving behavior. AAA recommends due caution be exercised by both drivers and pedestrian / cyclists when they approach an intersection, by reducing speed, using good judgment and making eye contact.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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