Communities across Missouri rely on traffic lights to control the flow of traffic and prevent car wrecks. Yet, research shows that signaled intersections are often highly dangerous to navigate. Your chances of dying in a crash caused by a red-light runner is increasing, with the number of deaths arising from these circumstances recently reaching a 10-year high.
According to NPR, 939 people died across the nation as a result of drivers blowing through red lights in 2017 alone. This a 31% increase from 2009, when the nation saw 715 such deaths. It also raises important questions about what is contributing to the rising number of deaths occurring at traffic signals.
Cellphone use and long commutes
Some say the rising number of road deaths caused by red-light runners is a result of increased in-vehicle and pedestrian cellphone use. When motorists or pedestrians do not pay attention to the tasks at hand, the chances of crashes and road deaths increase. Others say the rising number of fatalities at traffic signals is partly the result of drivers covering longer distances and spending more time on the road.
The hypocritical behavior of many American drivers may, too, be contributing to the uptick in red-light-related road deaths. Most motorists acknowledge that blowing red lights is quite dangerous. However, about a third of them say they did so anyway within the past 30 days.
When you are first in line at a red light, give yourself a few seconds before entering the intersection once the light turns green. Make sure, too, to put down the phone and devote your attention to safely clearing the intersection.