August’s Injury Prevention theme is all about safe driving.
Did you know there is a week in August fully dedicated to promoting safe driving practices – including STOPing at red lights? Sounds crazy to think that people don’t follow this simple rule. Just think back to being a kid and playing red light, green light. It has been ingrained in our brains since long before we thought of sitting behind a wheel to STOP when we see red.
Despite being trained at early ages to follow these simple colors, adults continue to fail to STOP on red. Over 55% of drivers have admitted to running red lights. Sadly, there are serious repercussions of this.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, at least two people die every day from impatient and reckless drivers. Those killed include drivers, passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists. No one is immune to injury from a driver cruising through a red light.
Red light cameras are used across the country to help prevent red light running, however despite law enforcement initiatives and cameras, people continue to push the pedal, continuing through lights, once they have turned red. Sadly, the use of camera’s to catch red light violators are also catching catastrophic accidents. We have all seen these horrific videos on social media, often watching them multiple times – to think, “Who does that?” Turns out it is most people you know.
Now that we have all been reminded to STOP at red lights, here are a few tips that will make STOPing a bit easier:
- 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 Judgment: Monitor “stale” green lights, those that have been green a long time as you’ve approached the intersection. They are more likely to turn yellow as you arrive at the intersection.
- 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.
- Drive Defensively: Before you enter an intersection after the light has turned green for you, take a second after the light changes and look both ways before proceeding
Now, that you have the tips to preventing a red light drive through, keep your eyes focused on the road and remember red doesn’t mean speed up, red means STOP!
Gross, A. (2019) Red light running deaths hit 10 year high. https://newsroom.aaa.com/2019/08/red-light-running-deaths-hit-10-year-high/
Blog Submitted by
Kelly Llewellyn, MSN, RN
Injury Prevention/EMS Specialist