Signaled intersections seek to enhance your safety by controlling the flow of traffic in busy areas, but traffic signals only improve public safety when motorists abide by them. Unfortunately, the number of U.S. drivers who blow through red lights is on the rise across the nation, and the number of people dying due to these circumstances is increasing as a result.
According to AAA, motorists running red lights has become so commonplace that an average of two people lose their lives on U.S. roads every day because of them. In 2017 alone, 939 individuals died in crashes caused by drivers who ran red lights, which is close to a 30%-increase since 2012.
Statistics surrounding red-light wrecks and fatalities
Drivers who run red lights cause 28% of all fatalities that occur in signaled intersections. Also, your chance of dying in a crash caused by a red-light runner is actually higher than the death risk faced by the person who runs the red light.
While about 35% of those who die in crashes caused by red-light runners are the drivers who actually run the lights, another 46% of those who pass away are other drivers or passengers navigating the intersection. Pedestrians and cyclists suffer another 5% of these road deaths.
Hypocritical viewpoints a pervasive issue
You may recognize that running red lights is highly dangerous and avoid doing so as a result, but research shows you would be in the minority. While 85% of drivers attest that there is serious danger involved in blowing through red lights, about a third of them also say they have done so within the past 30 days. Many drivers also believe that they are unlikely to face sanctions for blowing through red lights. Statistics show that more than two out of every five drivers on the road believe authorities are “unlikely” to cite them for these offenses.