Over 2 people are killed in the US everyday as a result of running a red light.
Towson, MD – A new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed that 939 people died in 2017 because of red light running crashes.
The numbers point to a 10-year high in deaths and a 28% increase since 2012.
AAA Spokesperson Jeanette Tejeda de Gomez said driving through red lights can endanger more than just the life of the driver.
“Nearly 50% [of deaths] it’s another person and it’s a completely different vehicle,” Tejeda de Gomez said. “About 5% is a pedestrian or another cyclist on the road.”
AAA released a variety of tips to maintain the safety of red light intersections.
-Prepare to Stop: Lift your foot off the accelerator and “cover the brake” when preparing to enter any intersection by positioning your right foot just above the brake pedal, without touching it.
-Use Good Judgement: Monitor “stale” green lights, those that have been green a long time as you approached the intersection. They are more likely to turn yellow as you arrive at the intersection.
-Tap the Brake: Tap your brakes a couple of times before fully applying them to slow down. This will catch the attention of drivers who may be inattentive or distracted behind you.
-Drive Defensively: Before you enter an intersection after the light has turned green for you, take a second after the light changes and look both ways before proceeding.
AAA said pedestrians and cyclists should also stay safe when traveling near intersections.
Wait: Give yourself a few seconds to make sure all cars have come to a complete stop before moving through the intersection.
Stay Alert and Listen: Don’t take chances and don’t wear headphones. Watch what is going on and give your full attention to the environment around you.
Be Visible: Stay in well-lit areas, especially when crossing the street.
Make Eye Contact: Look at drivers in stopped vehicles to ensure they see you before crossing the road in front of them.
By Timothy Young