The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports more than two people are killed each day in the United States by drivers running red lights. The most recent data shows 939 people were killed in 2017, a 28% increase from 2012.
In Oklahoma, eight people died in red light running crashes in 2017, while 74 fatalities resulted from 2008 to 2017. More than half of those killed were occupants in another vehicle while more than a third were drivers running through a stoplight.
Research shows enforcement cameras are effective
AAA Foundation surveyed drivers asking them how they feel about running a red light. Nearly 85% view red light running as very dangerous, yet one in three said they had blown through a light at an intersection in the past month. More than 40% said they felt it was unlikely they would be pulled over for the offense.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says its research shows cities that have installed red light cameras have seen red light running crashes decrease by 21% while all types of fatal crashes declined by 14%. Still, many cities are reluctant to put enforcement cameras in place.
Changes in driver behavior are essential for reducing fatalities
To reduce fatalities caused by red light running crashes, AAA recommends that drivers:
- Be ready to stop: Ease off the accelerator and place your foot over the brake as you approach an intersection.
- Exercise good judgment: Watch for “stale” green lights, those that have been green for a long time as you approach an intersection and anticipate they will turn yellow as you arrive.
- Tap the brakes: Avoid getting rear-ended by tapping your brakes a couple of times before completely stopping. This warns drivers behind that you are slowing down.
- Defensive driving: After the light turns green and before entering an intersection, look both ways to make sure all crossing traffic has completely stopped.
Seek compensation if a careless driver injures you
Negligent drivers kill and injure thousands of people each year. Even minor injuries can cause massive medical costs, lost wages and related expenses. An experienced personal injury attorney here in Oklahoma can help you recover compensation if you are injured due to someone else’s negligence.