City planners do not usually erect traffic signals simply for the sake of doing so. On the contrary, these lights control the flow of traffic and keep motorists safe. While a recent AAA survey found that 43% of responders admitted to running a red light in the 30 days before the survey, most motorists recognize the importance of stopping when a traffic light turns red.
Alarmingly, the number of fatal collisions at red lights is on an upward swing. Not all drivers have the same likelihood of disregarding traffic signals, though. Instead, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that most red-light runners share some common features.
Age and gender
The IIHS report indicates that men are more likely to run red lights than women. Age is also a factor in an individual’s decision to hurry through a red light, with younger drivers choosing more frequently to ignore traffic rules.
Previous collisions and citations
Commonly, drivers who disobey traffic signals have a history of moving violations, alcohol-impaired driving convictions and car accidents. The driver who hits you at an intersection also may be driving with a suspended license. Furthermore, those who run red lights may drive without adequate insurance or no coverage at all.
Alcohol and speeding
Finally, intoxication and speeding may contribute to an individual’s general willingness to ignore traffic lights. A driver may also increase his or her vehicle’s speed in an attempt to get through the intersection during a yellow light, only to arrive late. Unfortunately, a high-speed collision may cause serious injuries and significant property damage.
Like all motorists, you must commit to stopping completely at red lights. Nevertheless, if you find yourself in the middle of a red-light collision at an intersection, there is a good chance the negligent driver who caused the accident shares some characteristics with other red-light runners.