AAA tips to prevent red light crashes; Deaths reach 10-year high

The number of people killed as a result of red light running has spiked in recent years, jumping almost 30 percent between 2012 and 2017, according to crash data by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Claiming at least two lives every day, 939 people were killed in 2017, making it a 10-year high. 65 percent of the time, the victim is not the offending driver.

In Ohio between 2008 and 2017, 229 people were killed as the result of drivers running red lights.

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AAA offers these tips to prevent red light crashes:

  • Limit distractions - Driver distraction, such as hands-free texting or dialing while sitting at a red light, can linger for up to 27 seconds after hitting send. Intersection require a driver's full attention.
  • Drive defensively - Before you enter an intersection after the light has turned green, take a second after the light changes and look both ways before proceeding.
  • Prepare to stop - Lift your foot off the accelerator and "cover the brake" when preparing to enter any intersection by positioning your right foot just above the brake pedal, without touching it.
  • Use good judgement - Monitor "stale" green lights, those that have been green a long time as you've approached the intersection. They're more likely to turn yellow as you arrive.
  • Tap the brake - Tap your brakes a couple of times before fully applying them to slow down. This will catch the attention of drivers who may be inattentive or distracted behind you.

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AAA offers these tips for pedestrians and cyclists to stay safe when traveling near intersections:

  • Wait - Give yourself a few seconds to make sure all cars have come to a complete stop before moving through the intersection.
  • Stay alert and listen - Don't take chances and don't wear headphones. Watch what's going on and give your full attention to the environment around you.
  • Be visible - Stay in well-lit areas, especially when crossing the street.
  • Make eye contact - Look at drivers in stopped vehicles to ensure they see you before crossing the road in front of them.