Ohio has laws that ban motorists from texting behind the wheel, but if you have ever looked around you when stopped at a traffic light, you may notice that many drivers continue to do so, regardless. This may be a contributing factor to the rising number of people losing their lives at signaled intersections, with WHIO reporting that red-light traffic deaths have reached a 10-year high.
Just how many people are losing their lives because motorists often fail to exercise care when making their way through signaled intersections?
Statistics regarding red-light fatalities
The number of lives lost because of drivers who run red lights jumped almost 30% between 2012 and 2017, with the number of road deaths caused by red-light runners reaching its highest point in 10 years in 2017. Additionally, about two people die every day in the United States because motorists blow through red lights.
Ohio, specifically, has also seen an alarming number of road deaths linked to red-light runners. Between 2008 and 2017, 229 people lost their lives in Ohio because someone chose to run a red light. While this figure is troubling, so is the fact that, in many instances, the people who die in crashes caused by red-light runners are not the negligent drivers, but rather, other people traveling the roadways. In fact, someone other than the person who blows the red light is the one to die in about 65% of all crashes resulting from drivers running red lights.
Tips for preventing traffic signal deaths
While you cannot control the actions of other motorists, there are certain steps you may want to take to help protect yourself when navigating signaled intersections. Always drive defensively, for example, and try tapping your brakes several times as you approach a red light to help alert other drivers of your presence.
Traffic intersections have become increasingly dangerous places to navigate, so the more attention you devote to the task at hand when doing so, the better your chances of clearing the intersection and avoiding a potentially deadly wreck.