This week, we're focusing on some driving resolutions for the new year that will have you safer, wiser and pretty much just better off on the road. Today's resolution is easy but crucial. If you've ever seen a distracted or careless driver go right through a red light (not a yellow but clearly red), then you know how dangerous it can be. A big SUV traveling at a high rate of speed can kill. Hell, it can just be a regular passenger car, for that matter. On average, two people died each day in red-light running crashes in the United States in 2011.
The statistics show that red light runners still kill hundreds of people every year, and that doesn't even show the full details on the number of seriously injured each year or the effect such incidents had on their lives in the aftermath.
According to American Traffic Solutions, 2007-2011 stats show:
- An average of two fatalities occurred each day from red-light runners every day in the U.S.
- 751 people died in red-light running crashes annually, 63 people died each month in red-light running crashes.
- $378 million was lost in costs due to red-light running fatalities each month.
- Total red-light running crash fatalities decreased 22% from 2007 to 2011, as the number of communities with red-light safety cameras increased 135%.
- In 2011, about half of the red-light running deaths were people other than the red-light runner.
- In 2011, red-light running crashes injured 118,000 people.
So, our advice to everyone on the road is to look before you decide to accelerate when the green light says you "have permission to proceed" (it doesn't mean that it's clear to go). Keep in mind that so many drivers are distracted by their smartphones or doing something else instead of driving. They're behind the wheel of a car that weighs in excess of 3,000 pounds in most cases, and despite the prevalence of safety measures, that kind of weight can and will kill.
Take a look at the rather alarming video below to see just a fraction of the number of red light runners in 2016, and resolve to avoid them at all costs this year and every year thereafter.