At least two people are killed every day on U.S. roads by reckless drivers blowing through red lights, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Impatient motorists often speed up at a yellow light to beat the red light. This action is one of biggest factors in a disturbing increase in fatal crashes at intersections.
Running red lights caused 33 deaths in North Carolina and 11 deaths in South Carolina in 2017. Nearly half (46 percent) of those killed in red light running crashes were passengers or people in other vehicles. More than 35 percent of those killed were the drivers who ran the red light.
Here are four ways you can help prevent a red-light crash:
Prepare to stop: When you enter any intersection, “cover the brake.” Lift your foot off the accelerator and position your right foot just above the brake pedal without touching it.
Be green light savvy: Watch for green lights that have been green a long time as you’ve approached the intersection. They’re more likely to turn yellow when you get there.
Tap the brake: Tap your brakes a couple of times before fully applying them to slow down. This will catch the attention of drivers who may be inattentive or distracted behind you.
Drive defensively: Before you go through an intersection after your light turns green, pause a second and look both ways before proceeding.
— Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas Traffic Safety Foundation President
Visit AAA.com/GoSafety for resources to help make our roads safer for everyone.