Three Reasons Why People Run A Red Light

Stop, look and listen. We usually hear these words in lessons about road safety or games played by kids. However, in the adult world, this translates to a serious traffic reminder. When we ignore these three simple words, we can be in a serious accident.

Related: Car Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Traffic Safety Facts 2008 Report revealed a record of over 2.3 million reported intersection-related crashes. These accidents resulted in more than 7,770 fatalities and an estimate of 733,000 injury crashes. These figures were collected from 2008 alone. Even more alarming was that half of the people killed in red-light running crashes were not the drivers. They were pedestrians or other vehicles hit by the violators.

Why do people run red lights?
People can think of many excuses for running a red light. It's dangerous and should be avoided. What are some of the reasons why people run red lights? Here are three reasons:

  • Drivers losing patience. Driving school teacher Roileen Miller of Miller Driving School stated she had seen more drivers run red lights now than when she started teaching back in 1979. According to her, this was attributed to people losing patience. They are in a hurry to get to their destination. Therefore, they drive fast and consequently try to beat the light.
  • Already reached the intersection. Miller further explained it is possible to know when the light is going to change. First is when there is a gap in traffic and cars are stopped at the cross street. Once traffic sensors detect this gap, lights change. She also said that speed limits are used in determining how long a yellow light should last, to give drivers time to prepare for a stop. When drivers run a traffic light, she stated it could be because they were already in the intersection when the lights turned yellow.
  • Too late to step on the brake. Miller also believed that drivers were likely to run a red light when they were already too close to the intersection to be able to stop safely. They proceed through the intersection rather than risking the driver behind hitting them, should they suddenly stop.

Don't run red lights
Red light running is more than just a form of aggressive driving. People die and getting hurt because of it. Avoid running red lights. This is not only dangerous to you as the driver, but also to other drivers and pedestrians. You could be so focused on beating the red light that you don't see a car turning through the intersection or a pedestrian crossing the street in front of you. To help protect yourself and other drivers and pedestrians, please always slow down to a stop when you see a light turn yellow. Don't try to run the red light. Many traffic lights are short and last under one minute. You can wait an extra minute if it means saving a life.

Related: Move Over, Kentucky

As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I want to remind everyone to never run a red light. You may be able to get away with it a few times, but it only takes once to get into an accident. Please don't wait for an accident to happen before you start taking traffic signals seriously. Remember to always start to slow down when you see a light turn yellow and stop behind the intersection line on red.

Michael Schafer
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The Personal Injury Attorney for Louisville and Kentucky
One day I was driving in Danville Illinois (I was 18) (I am 18) and when I got close to a stop light, about 1/4th the way there, it turned yellow so I had to push on the brakes to stop fast. People told me to go for it but I chose the right thing; to stop and save a little kid's life
by Charles Wichus March 15, 2019 at 06:48 AM
We are so sorry for your loss. You are exactly right, people need to slow down and pay attention to what they are doing while driving a car.
by Mike Schafer December 12, 2017 at 11:19 AM
John: My mother was killed on November 22nd by someone running a red light. If you don't have time to brake safely, you're either going too fast or you're not paying attention. Killing someone is worse.
by Rayna December 12, 2017 at 12:33 AM
John: One, it is brakes, not breaks. Two, running a red light can be far worse. Chances are you have plenty of time to stop, you just choose not to. Most likely, you hesitate because you don't want to have to wait. Understandable. Who does? It is usually a 30 second to a minute wait. Choose to stop. Choose to wait. It can be worth it -- worth your life or someone else's.
by Mug June 20, 2017 at 09:22 AM
Everytime i run a red light is because it is too late to hit the breaks, and you can end up at the middle of the intersection, which is worse.
by John July 3, 2013 at 08:04 AM
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