“This disturbing trend impacts everyone on our roadways – drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians,” says Shawn Steward, spokesman for AAA Kansas. “It is critical that all parties understand this increased risk and adjust their behaviors accordingly.”
“Defensive driving and limiting distractions is something we teach students of all ages every day,” says Jennifer Shorette, the Director of AAA Driving Schools. “You cannot control the bad behavior of other drivers but you can change your own behavior to minimize risk.”
Statistics indicate that red light running crash deaths jumped almost 30% between 2012 and 2017- the most recent crash data available – with the aggressive, reckless behavior claiming at least 2 lives every day across the US.
The most recent crash data available shows 939 people were killed in red light running crashes in 2017 — a 10-year high.
(Link to video/b-roll of red light running HERE and HERE)
“Drivers who decide to run a red light when they could have stopped safely are making a reckless choice that puts other road users in danger,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “The data shows that red light running continues to be a traffic safety challenge. All road safety stakeholders must work together to change behavior and identify effective countermeasures.”
Red Light Running in Kansas
To prevent red light crashes, Drive Defensively, #DontDriveIntexticated and other tips from AAA:
Limit Distractions – previous AAA Foundation research indicates that driver distraction from, as an example, hands-free texting or dialing while sitting at a red light, can linger for up to 27 seconds after hitting send. Intersections require a driver’s full attention. #DontDriveIntexticated
Drive Defensively: Before you enter an intersection after the light has turned green for you, take a second after the light changes and look both ways before proceeding.
Prepare to Stop: Lift your foot off the accelerator and “cover the brake” when preparing to enter any intersection by positioning your right foot just above the brake pedal, without touching it.
Use Good Judgment: Monitor “stale” green lights, those that have been green a long time as you’ve approached the intersection. They are more likely to turn yellow as you arrive at the intersection.
Tap the Brakes: 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.
Wait: Give yourself a few seconds to make sure all cars have come to a complete stop before moving through the intersection.
Stay Alert and Listen: Don’t take chances and don’t wear headphones. Watch what is going on and give your full attention to the environment around you.
Be Visible: Stay in well-lit areas, especially when crossing the street.
Make Eye Contact: Look at drivers in stopped vehicles to ensure they see you before crossing the road in front of them.