More Than 7 Million Red Light Violations in 2012 Involved Distracted Drivers

break%20lights.jpgRed light violations are the most serious of all traffic violations because they contribute to deadly side-impact accidents. These accidents can have a devastating effect in terms of injuries as well as fatalities. A new study finds that red light violations are very strongly linked to the phenomenon of distracted driving.

In 2012, more than 7.3 million red light violations in the United States were linked directly to an inattentive or distracted driver. The research was conducted by the National Coalition for Safer Roads, which studied the incidence of red light violations linked to distracted drivers at intersections across the country.

A total of 118 red light safety camera system-equipped intersections in 19 communities across the country were studied over a three-month period. The researchers found in their analysis that as many as 12% of red light violations that were recorded by the red light cameras at these intersections were the result of a distracted driver. From this, the researchers have concluded that as many as 7,336,696 red light violations across the country are the result of distracted driving.

It is not hard to understand why distracted drivers are so much more likely to run a red light. There has been a lot of attention paid to distracted drivers focusing on sending or reading a text message while driving or dialing a cell phone and crashing into another car, or rear ending the vehicle in front. However, there hasn’t been a lot of attention paid to the fact that these distracted drivers may also make a number of traffic-related errors and commit violations that significantly increase their risk of an accident. For instance, a driver who is distracted is much more likely to run through a red light without realizing that he’s doing so.

Distracted driving laws that ban cell phone use and texting while driving are intrinsically linked to a reduction in the number of red light violations. The study compared the number of red light violations that occurred in communities that had strict laws against the use of cell phones while driving, with those communities where there were no such strict laws in place. The study found that fewer than 10% of red light violations occurred in communities that had strict laws against the use of cell phones while driving. In communities that did not have such strict laws against the use of cell phones and texting while driving, 16% of red light violations were linked to distracted drivers. That sixty percent difference in red light violations should be an eye opener to lawmakers in Indiana, who have yet to move forward on an all-driver inclusive ban on texting and hand held cell phone ban while driving.

The Indiana car accident lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy LLP represent persons who have been injured in car accidents across Indiana.