AAA study: Deaths in red-light crashes hits 10-year high

The pace of life today is faster and at times more frantic than it has ever been before. For many, that means there is a sense of urgency every time they’re behind the wheel of their vehicle. They feel that they have to get to their destination quickly.

Some of those drivers try to lop off seconds here and there as they navigate Edwardsville, regularly driving faster than the speed limit, rarely coming to complete halts at stop signs and trying to sail through intersections even as the lights turn red. A new study shows that these behaviors are getting worse and taking a toll in violent motor vehicle crashes.

The study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that deaths caused by drivers running red lights reached a 10-year high in 2017 (the most recent year for which complete statistics are available).

The organization said its research shows that 939 people died that year in red-light-running crashes, up 31 percent from the 715 in 2009.

The AAA study counted drivers and passengers in all vehicles involved in the crashes, as well as pedestrians.

“This is at least two people killed every day at the hands of drivers blowing through red lights,” said the organization’s director of traffic safety advocacy and research.

Though researchers did not try to determine the reasons for the crashes, they did name two factors they consider as likely contributors to the increase: people are driving more today and they are often distracted when they’re behind the wheel.

If you or a loved one has been harmed in a car crash, you can pursue full compensation for damages that include medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and more. Contact an Edwardsville attorney experienced in personal injury litigation to discuss your options.