Communities often add traffic signals to busy areas to help regulate traffic flow and prevent motorists from crashing into one another. However, these signals only do so when drivers follow their directions. Unfortunately, many people across Georgia and the rest of the nation fail to follow traffic signals, and the results are often catastrophic.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, about 139,000 people suffered injuries caused by red-light runners 2018 alone. That same year, nearly 850 people lost their lives due to these circumstances, raising important questions about what cities and towns should do to enhance safety in signaled intersections.
A common and dangerous behavior
A 2018 survey revealed that 31% of motorists admit to having blown through a red light within the past 30 days. This figure suggests that many American drivers are also hypocritical because 85% of them acknowledge that blowing through a red light is “extremely dangerous.”
Red-light runners also tend to share certain elements in common. Research shows that red-light runners are more often male than female and that younger motorists are more prone to running red lights than older ones. Additionally, those who run red lights are more likely not to have licenses than members of the general motoring population. They are also more likely to have drunk driving convictions or other car wrecks already in their driving histories.
Methods of enhancing safety
Many communities across the nation are looking to lower the number of injuries and fatalities caused by red-light runners by installing red-light cameras that catch offenders. Studies show that installing cameras leads to a reduction of fatal wrecks caused by red-light runners by more than 20%.
Research also shows that red-light cameras reduce all fatal crashes that occur in signaled intersections by 14%. Communities should also make efforts to ensure that their signals operate as they should with regard to how long they stay green, yellow and red. When the light stays yellow for enough time, it reduces the number of motorists running red lights, and, in doing so, also reduces crashes.