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Running Red Lights a Big Cause of Accidents Too

Every year approximately 1,000 people die in accidents that are caused directly by red light violations. While there is understandably a lot of attention focused on driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding as primary contributors to accidents, much less attention is given to the fact that too many deadly accidents are caused by motorists who fail to stop at red lights.
The National Coalition for Safer Roads recently revealed an analysis of data involving red light violations across the country, which provided very interesting results. For instance, the study found that most red light violations across the country occur on Fridays, and the time of the day that sees the highest number of light violations is the afternoon. The least number of violations is seen during the late-night hours. Sunday sees the least number of violations among the days of the week.

Red light violations also seem to spike around major holidays. Memorial Day weekend ranks number one in the number of red light violations. A total of 39,021 red light violations were recorded in 2013 during the Memorial Day weekend. The lowest number of red light violations occurs over the Halloween weekend with 20,902 violations. In Georgia, however, the maximum number of red light violations occurred over the Christmas holiday with 400 violations recorded in the State in 2013.

The fact is that you are in danger of coming across a red light violator on any day of the year and at any time of the day. Even “safe” drivers, who may never dream of driving under the influence of alcohol or driving while distracted see no problem running a red light when they are in a hurry.Such behavior is extremely dangerous, because running a red light creates a very real risk of crashing into a car from the side, often causing much more serious injuries.

Often red light violations are also the result of distractions. A cell phone user, for instance, may be less likely to notice a red light, and is much more likely to run a red light than a driver who is totally focused on the road ahead. Other times, drivers are distracted by conversations in their cars, or are not paying attention to the task of driving. According to statistics from 2012, more than 7.3 million red light violations were the result of distractions at the wheel. According to the study titled Stop Distraction on Red: The Effects of Distracted Driving and Intersection Safety, researchers analyzed 118 intersections with red light cameras, and found far too many violations that were directly linked to distracted driving.

The best advice for avoiding a red light collision is to take an extra second to look both ways before entering an intersection on green. This will help you see another motorist who is trying to “beat the light” and risking for too much for too little.

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