Red-Light Running: A Rush To Disaster

According to the IIHS, half of the people killed in red-light running crashes are NOT the signal violators; they are drivers, passengers and pedestrians hit by red-light runners.

Given the severity and frequency of crashes caused by red-light running, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released a study revealing that over 50% of drivers admit to deliberately running red lights because they are in a hurry. The survey participants were of all ages, all income and educational backgrounds and male and female. According to 2008 statistics, there were more than 2.3 million reported intersection-related crashes resulting in over 7,770 fatalities and approximately 733,000 injuries. Red-light running crashes cause 762 deaths and an estimated 165,000 people injured annually. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), half of the people killed in red-light running crashes are not the signal violators; they are drivers, passengers and pedestrians hit by red-light runners. The cost to society resulting from red-light running crashes is estimated to be $7 million per year.

FHWA created a list of 10 statistics that everyone should be aware of when it comes to the tragedy of red-light running:

  1. You or your loved ones are more likely to be injured due to a red-light running related crash than any other type of crash;
  2. Running red lights or other traffic controls is the most common cause of all urban crashes;
  3. Someone runs a red light an average of every 20 minutes at urban intersections;
  4. In the last decade, red-light running killed nearly 9,000 people;
  5. An estimated 165,000 motorists cyclists and pedestrians are injured annually by red-light runners;
  6. Half of the people killed by red-light runners are not the signal violators;
  7. 93% of drivers believe running a red light is unacceptable, yet 1 in 3 drivers reported doing so in the past 30 days;
  8. There are an average of 7 fatal crashes and over 1,000 injury crashes every day at signalized intersections across theU.S.;
  9. The cost to society of all crashes exceeds $230 billion annually; and
  10. The tragedies and costs resulting from red-light running are preventable.

As a professional chauffeur, when approaching an intersection, keep your eyes moving, slow down and cover your brake, watch for “stale green” don’t-walk signals and, before proceeding once a red light has turned green, wait a couple of seconds before proceeding to allow red-light runners and pedestrians time to clear the intersection.

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