It is one of the first things we learn as young children: to stop when the light is red and go when the light turns green.
And yet, the number of drivers running red lights is increasing. According to a recent AAA study, the rate of accidents and fatalities resulting from drivers who speed through red lights is higher now than it has been in the last 10 years.
Reckless driving increasing risk around the nation
The chances of a devastating car crash increase exponentially when drivers run a red light. There are several lanes of traffic at intersections that go every which way when their light turns green. Disregarding traffic lights puts nearly everyone at risk, including:
- Other drivers
- Their passengers
In fact, the study found that drivers who ran through red lights caused nearly 28% of deaths in accidents on U.S. roads. Passengers faced the highest risk out of all, making up almost half of those tragic fatalities.
Texans also face higher risks than most
Even though the Houston Chronicle recently reported that three Texas cities ranked in the top ten with some of the best drivers in the country, Texans are not off the hook. Our state also ranked in the top ten for drivers who run red lights. We tied with Kentucky with the sixth-highest rate of deaths from running a red light in the country.
Traffic laws are there for a reason
Our traffic laws exist to keep everyone on the road as safe as possible. That is why every driver must pay attention to Texas traffic laws every time they get behind the wheel.
Unfortunately, drivers cannot always depend on other motorists to be safe. So, drivers must make sure they are defensive and alert behind the wheel—even at a stoplight. And even when the light turns green, drivers should be cautious and take a quick moment to look on either side of the intersection and ensure their way forward is clear. It could make all the difference for them, their loved ones and other drivers on Texas roads.