An impatient driver faced with a yellow traffic light might interpret it as a warning that they should step on the gas to avoid getting caught at the red light. This impulsive and selfish move can have serious consequences.
Traffic light laws, often seen as an inconvenience to hurried drivers, are intended to keep people safe. The statistics surrounding red- light accidents are sobering; red light running drivers killed nearly 1,000 people in 2017.
How to Stop Red Light Accidents
One of the techniques employed to reduce the number of red-light accidents is to increase the amount of yellow light lead-up time before the light switches to red. Another technique is to install red light cameras to deter drivers from taking the risk of driving through the light.
A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicated that increasing the yellow-light time by one second reduced red light violations by 36 percent, while the use of red-light cameras cut violations down by a jaw-dropping 96 percent.
Cameras as a Deterrent
Studies have shown that the deterrence provided by red light cameras is significant. The threat of getting caught serves to keep drivers from attempting to run red lights. Since police cannot possibly monitor traffic at every traffic-light intersection, the use of red light cameras have served as an effective stand-in.
A report by the IIHS concluded that the proper use of red light cameras has been shown to reduce fatal crashes involving a driver running a red light by 21 percent and to bring down the number of any fatal crashes at those intersections by 14 percent.
Signage notifying drivers of the presence of a red light camera further increases the effectiveness of the initiative.
Red-Light Safety for Drivers
Drivers should keep these sobering statistics in mind when they are thinking of outrunning a traffic light. A few second delay is nothing compared to a lifetime of regret in the wake of a preventable accident. When approaching a traffic light, drivers should follow a few simple steps:
- Prepare to stop by easing off the gas and hovering over the brake
- Monitor prolonged green lights, as they may be about to change to yellow
- Tap the brake to bring the attention of the driver behind you that you are preparing to stop
- Once your light turns green, look both ways before proceeding into the intersection
Red-Light Safety for Pedestrians and Cyclists
Pedestrians can likewise make red light safety a priority by doing the following:
- Wait until traffic has come to a stop before entering the roadway
- Be visible to drivers by wearing reflective gear at night
- Listen for danger by not wearing earbuds or other hearing obstructions
- Motion to drivers that you intend to proceed by waving or making eye contact
Edwardsville Car Wreck Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Help Those Hurt in Red-Light Accidents
Common or not, running a red light breaks the law. If you or someone you love were injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident involving a driver who ran a red light, you may be able to collect damages for your suffering. The Edwardsville car wreck lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC can help you obtain compensation for your injuries or for the loss of your loved one. Contact us online or call us at 618-277-3644 to set up a free consultation. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we provide legal services to clients in Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, St. Louis, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County.