Even if you are an extremely conscientious driver, you cannot avoid all road-related risks. Statistics show that your chance of losing your life because of other drivers who run red lights is on the rise. According to the Shawnee News-Star, fatalities caused by people running red lights are at a 10-year high across the nation. The majority of people harmed in red-light-related car wrecks are not the people running the lights in the first place.
In fact, nearly 65% of the victims in red-light-related car crashes are not the offending drivers, emphasizing the fact that there is only so much you can do to mitigate the dangers you face when making your way through intersections.
Oklahoma-specific red-light statistics
Oklahoma, specifically, had more than 3,000 car wrecks in 2018 that resulted from motorists blowing through red lights. Evidence also shows that many drivers across Oklahoma and the rest of the nation have hypocritical viewpoints when it comes to running red lights.
How so? In one recent study, about 85% of all surveyed drivers acknowledged that running red lights was exceedingly dangerous. However, one in three of those drivers surveyed also reported that they had run a red light within the last 30 days, even though they had the opportunity to stop safely.
On a national scale, red-light car wrecks have climbed to their highest number since 2008, with 939 people dying in traffic-signal car crashes in 2017. Additionally, statistics show that red-light car crashes claim about two lives every day in the United States.
In terms of what may be to blame for the sharp uptick in the number of drivers running red lights, many believe in-vehicle cellphone use plays a big role. Oklahoma has laws in place preventing the state’s motorists from texting behind the wheel, but many drivers continue to do so, anyway, which can lead to an increase in traffic-signal car wrecks.
While there is only so much you can do to protect yourself when other motorists drive recklessly, exercising vigilance may help enhance your safety, at least to some extent. It may, too, benefit you to wait for a second or two after a light turns green to look left and right before proceeding through a signaled intersection.