This Independence Day, you may be one of millions of motorists to hit the road and celebrate summer with family and friends. As you head out on the road, please keep safe driving practices in mind and remember to always stop on red. NCSR found that July 4th ranked as the second riskiest summer holiday for drivers when it comes to red-light running – with more than 6,500 violations issued on the holiday alone in 2012. Of the summer holidays, Independence Day came in a close second behind Memorial Day and ranked higher than Labor Day.
In three states – Illinois, Ohio and Virginia – the 4th of July ranked as the riskiest red-light running holiday of 2012. In addition to the traditional summer holidays, NCSR looked at red-light running during the Super Bowl, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.
Summertime presents drivers with increased risk on the road as more people are driving longer distances for summer travel. In 2012, AAA predicted that 42.3 million Americans drove 50 miles or more during the Independence Day holiday weekend. In addition, drunk driving is often an issue during the summer holidays. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 780 people were killed during July 4th holidays over the last five years in collisions involving drunk drivers.
An analysis released by NCSR and FocusDriven earlier this summer showed that distracted drivers had a significant impact on red-light running in the summer months of 2012. The analysis –Stop Distraction on Red: The Effects of Distracted Driving on Intersection Safety – found that more than 1.8 million red-light violations from June through August 2012 were a result of distracted driving. The campaign continues to promote safe summer driving by highlighting the dangers of distracted driving behavior.
While red-light running is prevalent during the summer months, it is clear that red-light running remains an issue on roadways year round. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, intersection-related vehicle accidents caused more than 8,500 fatalities in 2011. NCSR urges all drivers who are hitting the road this 4th of July to take extra precautions while driving, especially in and around intersections.
(Image Source: Autoblog)
The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) helps save lives and protect communities by demonstrating how red-light safety cameras can improve driver behavior.
Imagine closing your eyes as you approach an intersection and continuing to drive, not knowing if the light was green or red. Although this scenario seems undeniably dangerous, drivers are basically taking the same foolish risk when they engage in distracted behavior behind the wheel. Distractions take the driver’s attention away from the road, often causing them to commit dangerous and illegal actions such as running a red-light, or worse, causing a collision.
To kick off the campaign, NCSR and FocusDriven conducted a joint analysis examining the impact that distracted driving has on red-light running.Stop Distraction on Red: The Effects of Distracted Driving on Intersection Safety analyzes a sample of 118 intersections in 19 communities across the United States over a three-month period. Using the findings from this sample, researchers estimated that a daunting 7.3 million red-light violations in 2012 involved distracted behavior. The analysis also includes distracted driving-related intersection violation estimates for all 50 states and an examination of the impact of bans on cell phone use while driving.
Stop Distraction on Red: The Effects of Distracted Driving on Intersection Safety
The following video, which features red-light safety camera images and footage of distracted drivers running red lights, will be a key educational tool in the campaign. The video combines clear captures of distracted drivers with informative red-light running and distracted driving statistics, visually linking the dangerous driving habits with their serious consequences.
A new campaign infographic also aims to educate the public on important distracted driving and red-light running realities by illustrating key findings from the joint analysis. The infographic highlights the dangers of these two road safety issues in a visual and digestible manner.
NCSR and FocusDriven are launching Stop Distraction on Red at the advent of summer to promote safe, distraction-free driving as school lets out and millions of cars hit the road for summer travel and activities. NCSR President Melissa Wandall and FocusDriven Board Member and Survivor Advocate Jacy Good, who lead the campaign, have both been personally impacted by the dangers of red-light running and distracted driving. Throughout the course of the campaign, videos of distracted red-light running and the analysis findings will be used to raise awareness as Melissa and Jacy engage in media appearances, speaking opportunities and collaborations with like-minded organizations.
The effort’s ultimate goal is to influence safer driving practices in and around intersections by stopping distraction on red and preventing needless deaths and injuries to all who share the road.
In 2009 more than 214 Washingtonians lost their lives in speed and red-light running related collisions – more than half of those fatalities occurred at an intersection. Thanks to red-light safety cameras, driver behavior is now improving in the state of Washington.