More crashes are the result of red-light running than drivers may realize, and it is a serious safety problem across the United States. California residents may be surprised to learn that about 165,000 people suffer injuries in such accidents each year around the country, and in 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recorded 762 related fatalities.
In 1999, Old Dominion University in Virginia conducted a survey to generalize the type of drivers who are most likely to run red lights. The survey found that red-light runners are not necessarily frustrated at the time. They are generally young, are in a hurry, are driving alone and either have no children or have children who are younger than 20. They are also frequently unemployed or work jobs that require relatively little education, such as lower technology and blue collar jobs. Additionally, they often run red lights more than 2 miles from home and are more likely to have previously received a ticket for running a red light.
In May 2004, the NHTSA also conducted a survey that found that 97 percent of drivers think that people who run red lights are a major threat to traffic safety. Four years later, the agency found that an average seven deadly and 1,000 injury car accidents occur every day at intersections that have traffic lights. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that, in 2007, about 50 percent of the people who died in crashes that involved red-light runners were not the ones who violated traffic laws.