The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that per capita, Texas ranks sixth among U.S. states for deaths caused by drivers who run red lights.
Red-light running accidents in the state since 2014 have caused an average of over 100 people per year to lose their lives.
Deaths reach 10-year high
In 2017, fatalities caused by red-light runners in the U.S. reached a 10-year high. Over 44% of these fatalities represented drivers or occupants of other vehicles. Pedestrians or cyclists accounted for almost 6% of these fatalities.
AAA’s research reveals that while 85% of drivers believe that running red lights is dangerous, almost one-third admitted to running a red light in the prior 30-day period.
Drivers can use strategies to avoid red light crashes
Drivers may avoid deadly red light crashes by taking precautionary driving measures:
- Drive defensively. When the signal turns green, drivers should pause and check traffic approaching from both directions before venturing into the intersection.
- Anticipate light changes. If it appears that a light has been green for a while, drivers should be careful as they near the intersection. The light may soon turn yellow.
- Get ready to stop. Drivers can lift their foot from the accelerator and hover it over the brake as they move towards an intersection.
- Tap the brake. Drivers should tap their brakes to slow down before fully pressing the brakes and coming to a complete stop. This may help communicate their intention to stop to a distracted driver behind them.
Pedestrians and bicyclists may also use safety strategies
Even in cases where pedestrians or bicyclists think they have the right-of-way, they should exercise caution near intersections. They should stay alert, avoid distractions, remain visible when crossing the street and make eye contact with drivers before moving into an intersection.