Communities often install traffic signals at busy intersections to help improve traffic flow and enhance safety, but you face certain risks when navigating these areas. Research shows that your chance of getting into a crash with a red-light runner is particularly high in Texas, with the state seeing the sixth-highest number of red-light fatalities in the nation.
According to the Corsicana Daily Sun, motorists who ran red lights were responsible for 971 Texas traffic fatalities between 2008 and 2017. The number of people suffering injuries because of drivers running red lights is also on the rise.
In many fatal car wrecks that take place in signaled intersections, it is not the red-light runner who dies. Research shows that while the negligent driver dies in about 35% of fatal car crashes caused by red-light runners, it is passengers or drivers in other vehicles who lose their lives the majority, or 46%, of the time.
You also face injury and fatality risks when navigating a signaled intersection on a bicycle or on foot. Studies show that more than 5% of those killed in such crashes are either pedestrians or cyclists.
You face a higher risk of involvement in a crash caused by a red-light runner when you live in Texas, as opposed to most other states, but there are several ways to enhance personal safety. Tap your brake a few times when you approach a red light to make yourself more noticeable to those behind you. Also, practice defensive driving by waiting a brief moment after the light turns green before making your way through the intersection.