Many drivers guilty of running red lights while distracted

Posted on in Car Accidents

Most California residents have likely witnessed the dangerous actions of a driver running a red light. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers running red lights is the leading cause of car accidents in cities and densely populated areas across the U.S. A recent study conducted by the National Coalition for Safer Road and FocusDriven, sheds light on the dangerous driving practice.

For the study, researchers reviewed footage and data taken from traffic cameras in 19 densely populated areas. Researchers reviewed the data captured at 118 intersections over a three-month time span in hopes of discovering trends in driving behaviors. The results of the study show that roughly 12 percent of red light traffic infractions were committed by drivers who appeared to be distracted.

In recent years, distracted driving has gained a lot of attention as being a major factor in many traffic accidents. Drivers who are distracted are at a much greater risk of causing or being involved in a car accident in which other drivers and passengers could easily be seriously injured or even killed. In an effort to curb dangerous distracted driving practices, California has enacted some of the strictest cellphone and texting bans in the country. Despite these laws, however, drivers continue to be distracted while driving.

While cellphones are most readily cited as being the main factor in many distracted driving accidents, drivers often have many other less obvious things vying for their attention. Daydreaming, looking out the window, changing the radio station or talking to a passenger are all extremely distracting activities that take a driver's attention and focus off of the road and the important task of driving. Drivers are encouraged to remain aware, alert and focused while driving. In a matter of seconds a distracted driver can easily be involved in an accident that could result in serious and life-altering injuries.

Source: Autoblog, "Distracted driving blamed for 7.3 million traffic violations," Zach Bowman, June, 8, 2013

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