Have you ever seen another driver sail through an intersection when the light was already red? Have you ever slipped through an intersection yourself just as the light turned and reasoned that the light was more “pink” than red?
You aren’t alone. Red-light running has become an increasingly common problem in the last decade. In fact, the number of deaths attributed to red light running has risen by 28% between 2012 and 2017.
This dangerous activity is particularly a problem when the streets are fairly empty. Something about a wide-open road encourages drivers to take chances. They don’t consider the fact that there may be another driver coming in the cross direction, equally excited to be able to fly freely through the traffic lights.
Red light running also happens frequently when people are feeling rushed — such as when they’re on the way home after a stressful day at work or a long afternoon of running errands. Distracted driving is another frequent issue that can contribute to the problem. It’s probably no coincidence that cellphones have become popular right at the same time that red light running has been on the rise.
Running a red light also puts pedestrians and bicyclists in danger. A pedestrian or cyclist may be relying on those traffic signals to begin making their way across an intersection or crosswalk. When a driver rushes the light, it can turn into a tragedy.
You can do your part to prevent accidents simply by observing traffic laws. Slow down when you see a yellow light and don’t “run a red” or rush through one that’s about to turn. Even so, you can’t control what other drivers may do. If you suffer injuries in a crash caused by another driver, get experienced legal assistance.