Every day, millions of Kentuckians drive across miles of roadways and through intersections in the Bluegrass state. What many don’t think about is that every time you go through a stoplight-controlled intersection, you are at risk of being in an accident. In fact, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than two people each day are killed in the United States when impatient and reckless drivers blow through a red light. Also, in 2017, deaths from red-light accidents reached a 10-year high, up 28% since 2012.

Why the increase?

The reasons for the increase in deadly crashes at red lights aren’t fully clear. One contributor is that the number of miles people are driving has increased by 5%, increasing the chances they will be involved in accident.

Also, more than likely, some of these accidents are the result of distracted driving, which also has seen dramatic increases in the last several years. The prevalence of drivers using cell phones while driving, keeping them distracted from watching the road, has led to many states, including Kentucky, to ban texting while driving. More and more states are completely banning using a handheld phone while driving too.

What should drivers do to prevent a crash?

For drivers who want to prevent a red-light accident, they not only need to keep their eyes on upcoming traffic signals. They also can take the following precautions:

  • Keep the speed limit so you can stop quickly if needed.
  • Keep a three-second distance between you and the car in front of you, in case the vehicle ahead of you suddenly needs to stop for a yellow or red light.
  • Watch for how long a light stays green, being aware that the light may turn yellow soon.
  • When stopped at a red light, when the light turns green, hesitate to make sure no vehicles are coming through the intersection on a red light.
  • Always wear a seat belt.

No one wants to be injured in an accident, especially one that causes serious injuries or death. Following the above safety tips will help you avoid a dangerous red-light crash and help keep you, your passengers and those around you safe.