Inattention or distraction while driving can not only delay a person's response times, and slow down his reflexes, but it also increases a person's risk of running a red light. In fact, a new study finds that as many as 12% of all red light violations are the result of distracted driving.
The National Coalition commissioned the study for Safer Roads, and FocusDriven. The study looked at 118 intersections across 19 communities in the United States, which were all monitored and evaluated over a period of three months. All these intersections were equipped with red light camera systems.
On evaluating the camera images that were derived from these systems at these intersections, the researchers found that as many as 12% of the violations were the result of distractions. In fact, both of these organizations and their research claim that distracted driving could be responsible for as many as 7.3 million red light violations every year.
Red light violations typically lead to side impact accidents like broadside accidents, which result in very serious injuries to the occupants of the vehicle. That is because passengers may have very little protection from serious injuries when a vehicle from the side strikes them. Even with the existence of side airbags, these passengers may have a much higher risk of being killed or sustaining serious injuries in the accident.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also estimates that red light violations are a major cause of accidents across the country. It now appears that both red light violations and distracted driving are quite closely connected, and increase the risk of accidents for motorists. This only underscores the need for motorists to avoid using a cell phone for any purpose at any time behind the wheel.