WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two people, on average, die every day in the United States in accidents caused by motor vehicle operators who run red lights. Data culled together by the American Automobile Association (AAA) indicates that other drivers, vehicle passengers, bicycle riders, and pedestrians are in danger of dying because an impatient and reckless driver “blows through” a red light. For example, 939 people in the United States died in collisions caused by a motorist running a red light in 2017. The number of people who died is a 28 percent increase since 2012 and is the most in the last decade. To put it simply, people entering an intersection need to watch out for drivers who ignore the command of red lights because the drivers are utterly reckless, not paying attention, or could be intoxicated.
The statistics generated by AAA relating to accidents at red lights is astounding. Not only are the number of red-light accident deaths 28 percent greater than in 2012, but 46 percent of the people who died in those crashes also were passengers in the vehicle the committed the red-light infraction or were innocently riding in another vehicle. About five percent of the people killed were walking or riding a bicycle when hit by a vehicle that failed to come to a full stop for a red light. Meanwhile, 35 percent of the people who died in red light crashes were the people who were driving the car that failed to stop.
AAA determined that the overwhelming majority of motorists in the country understand how dangerous failing to stop at a red light might be. AAA’s research shows that 85 percent of the people surveyed by AAA agrees that running a red light is dangerous. But, 33 percent of the same group questioned by AAA admitted to running a red light at least once in the previous thirty days when they could have otherwise safely stopped.
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