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Red-light traffic fatalities reach a 10-year high

When you pull up to a stoplight in Pennsylvania, you may notice other motorists using their phones, talking to other passengers or otherwise not paying attention to the road. This is a common problem across Pennsylvania, and so much so that the state ranks ninth in the nation in terms of the number of people killed by red-light runners between 2008 and 2017.

According to the Pocono Record, Pennsylvania saw 215 road deaths attributed to red-light runners within that span. The uptick in road deaths linked to red-light runners is also a national problem. The nationwide number of associated traffic fatalities has reached its highest number in a decade.

National fatality statistics

On the national level, about half of all people killed by motorists who ran red lights were not the people who blew through the red lights. The offending drivers died in about 35% of these fatal crashes, while another 5% were pedestrians or cyclists attempting to navigate signaled intersections. The remainder of red-light related road deaths involved the drivers or passengers in other vehicles and not those who ran the red lights.

Pennsylvania fatality statistics

Of the 251 people who died in Pennsylvania because of red-light runners between 2008 and 2017, 91 of them were the negligent drivers. Another 105 deaths involved people traveling in other vehicles, and 23 of those deaths involved pedestrians or cyclists.

Safety tips

Abiding by traffic signals helps you stay safe to some extent. However, there are other steps to consider taking to lower your chances of involvement in a crash with a red-light runner. Tap your brakes a few times when approaching a signaled intersection to catch the attention of drivers behind you. Also, take a moment after a light turns green before proceeding into an intersection.