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Running a red light: Causes and ways to stop it

Running a red light is one of the most obvious mistakes a driver can make. When the light is red, it's clear that they're required to stop. Not stopping could result in a crash as traffic from other roads passes through the intersection.

Red light running happens frequently despite it being an easy error to avoid. In 2017, 890 people died in crashes that were a result of running a red light. It's also believed that around 132,000 people were hurt the same year as a result of red light-running crashes.

Why do people run red lights?

There are a few reasons why people might run red lights. Some of these reasons include:

  • Trying to "beat" the signal
  • Short yellow-signal time, giving drivers little time to stop before a red light
  • Distractions, which take the driver's eyes off of the road

How often do drivers violate red light rules?

It's believed, based on an analysis of data from 19 intersections without red light cameras, that red light laws were violated around 3.2 times each hour. That's scary, considering that each time a person runs a red light could result in a collision.

Who is most likely to run a red light?

Looking at the drivers who were involved in fatal red light-running multi-vehicle collisions, it was most likely for the drivers who caused the collisions to be younger, male and to have previously been involved in a crash. It was also more likely for them to have alcohol-impaired driving on their records. It was seen that the drivers were less likely to have a valid license and may even have been impaired at the time of the collision.

What reduces red light crashes?

One of the things that reduces red light collisions is having a yellow signal last longer. A longer yellow light was shown to reduce red light violations by 36% when evaluated during a study in Philadelphia. Adding a traffic camera reduced red light running by another 96%, showing that these two actions can significantly reduce the number of incidents that occur in intersections.

Everyone who drives is aware that running a red light can be dangerous or deadly. If you are struck by someone who runs a red light, it's important that you take steps to hold them accountable for their actions. Their negligence is what caused injuries, and they should be responsible for covering the cost of your care and other losses.

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