Traffic lights are placed at intersections for a specific purpose – to control traffic and make the roads a bit safer. While traffic lights are clearly visible to drivers, there continue to be drivers who run a red light for a variety of reasons. Some drivers misjudge the timing of a yellow light, while others are just in a hurry to get from Point A to Point B. Some drivers are distracted by their phones. Whatever the reason, running a red light can have terrible consequences including but not limited to the death of innocent victims who were at the wrong time and wrong place.
One of these consequences could be getting pulled over by a police officer. However, the more serious and troubling danger is that running a red light could result in a car accident. Over 200,000 of the almost 6 million car accidents that occur in the United States each year are the result of rushed red lights; more than 800 of these accidents are fatal. Worse yet, the number of deaths caused by collisions due to red traffic lights in the United States have increased almost 30% since 2012. Researchers at the American Automobile Association found a 60% increase over a ten-year period in these kinds of accidents in Nevada. Given this substantial increase in the number of accidents, what are some actions one might take to keep from running a red light?
The first, and most important, step a driver can take is simply to pay attention while at the wheel. Mistakes often come while drivers are distracted, so putting the phone down and focusing on the road will significantly reduce the risk of accidentally running a red light. Of course, not all red light runs are accidental. Some drivers will intentionally rush through when to save some time. Those people just need to make a conscious effort to break their bad habit, because, if not, there is always the risk that they might harm themselves or others.