Car accidents are an unfortunate but regular occurrence in Minnesota. There has been an uptick in accidents stemming from drivers ignoring and running red lights. Deaths from these accidents have also become the highest ever in the last decade.
What has the AAA Foundation discovered about red light accidents?
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety compiled data to analyze the facts about red light car accidents. It found that over 10 years’ time, there was a 28% increase in car accidents stemming from drivers running red lights. Many of those accidents resulted in deaths when there were people at intersections. Passengers in other vehicles accounted for the majority of those killed in those accidents.
What can drivers do to prevent red light accidents?
Drivers can change their behavior to prevent red light car crashes. The Foundation recommends the following:
- Prepare to stop: Ease your foot off the accelerator in preparation to stop. Lightly place your foot above the brake as you prepare to go into the intersection.
- Use good judgment: Keep aware of green lights that have been green for a while when approaching an intersection. Those will turn yellow faster.
- Tap the brake: Tap the brake before fully stepping on it so you can slow down more safely. This can help get other drivers’ attention.
- Use defensive driving: Always use defensive driving methods before entering an intersection. Look both ways before you drive forward.
How can pedestrians and bicyclists stay safer?
Pedestrians and bicyclists can remain safer while entering intersections by taking certain steps. They include the following:
- Wait: Always wait a few seconds to ensure that cars are completely stopped before entering the intersection.
- Always be alert: Watch and listen to everything around you. Don’t wear earphones so you can hear potential oncoming traffic.
- Stay visible: Stay in areas that are well lit and wear bright-colored clothing to stay visible at all times, especially when you’re crossing the street.
- Make eye contact: Look at drivers in vehicles to make sure they can see you as you’re crossing the street in front of them.