While drivers who blow through red lights at intersections pose a threat to motorists everywhere, drivers across Texas face an elevated risk of getting into a red-light-related car wreck and succumbing to their injuries. In fact, CBS Austin reports that Texas ranks sixth in the nation in terms of the number of traffic deaths caused by drivers running red lights, with red-light-running deaths recently reaching a 10-year high in Texas as well as nationally.
Just how many Americans lose their lives in traffic-signal-related wrecks? Evidence shows that about two people die every day across the nation as a result of drivers who fail to stop at red lights.
While the fact that red-light deaths have reached their highest number in 10 years is alarming, so, too, is the fact that many such car crashes do not have to happen. Studies show that most motorists acknowledge that running red lights is highly dangerous. However, studies also show that one out of every three drivers admitted to blowing through a red light within the last 30 days, even though they had the opportunity to stop safely before making their way through the intersection.
Important law changes
While some states react to the increase in red-light-related traffic deaths by installing more red-light cameras, which ticket drivers for blowing red lights while raising awareness about the dangers of doing so, Texas is not among them. Instead, Texas recently banned red-light cameras within state lines, even though a recent study performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed that these cameras can reduce deaths caused by red-light runners in large cities by more than 20%.
While avoiding traffic signals entirely is probably not feasible, you can make yourself safer to some extent by being extra careful and aware when traveling through signaled intersections. You may also want to tap your brakes lightly a few times when pulling to a stop at traffic lights so other motorists are more likely to notice you.