The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported that in 2019, 846 people in the United States died in car crashes caused by someone running a red light. About 130,000 injuries came from accidents caused by red-light runners during that year.
If you are the driver, the three steps you can take to avoid a red-light accident are:
Step One: Pay Attention
Distracted driving is the number one cause of traffic accidents.
Avoid doing anything that will take your mind away from paying close attention to the traffic at an intersection. Common mistakes, which cause accidents, are using a phone, adjusting the radio or mirror, or turning around to talk to someone in the back seat.
It is most important to avoid using a cell phone while driving. Never text while driving. Even if you have a hands-free mobile phone system installed, you may pay more attention to the telephone call than your driving.
It is better to pull over to a safe spot out of traffic to make and receive telephone calls. If you must use a hands-free phone while driving, pay careful attention to the road and not let your mind wander while on a call.
Step Two: Slow Down
It is not worth risking your life to get somewhere a few minutes earlier than you would arrive when driving safely.
Do not speed up to get through the yellow light. Instead, when you see the light turn yellow, check your rearview mirror to ensure that no car is following too closely and brake safely in time. Be sure to brake properly and that your vehicle does not extend into the intersection when stopped.
Step Three: Don’t Jump the Green Light
Studies show that most red-light accidents occur within one and one-half seconds of the light turning red. If you are stopped and waiting for a red light to turn green, pay careful attention to the other cars entering the intersection. When the light changes to green, hold for a second and make sure there is no other car running the red light.
Look in both directions to be certain that all the cars stop. You can avoid a fatal car crash by seeing someone is going to run a red light and letting them do it without hitting your vehicle.
Community Efforts to Improve Traffic Safety
Communities can improve traffic safety by installing traffic cameras at intersections with a high number of red-light accidents.
Studies show that installing a traffic camera combined with the ability to issue tickets for moving violations caught by the camera reduced the red-light runners at intersections in large cities by up to 21%.
If You Were in a Red-Light Accident, Get Legal Help
If you or a loved one were injured when another driver hit your vehicle after running a red light, you need to call an attorney at (281) 475-4535 for a free consultation. A lawyer who is a specialist in red-light traffic accidents can help you protect your rights and get you the compensation for your damages, which you deserve.