A high percentage of road traffic collisions happen at intersections. When you consider that various vehicles are going in different directions, often at the same time, it is not surprising. That is part of why traffic lights exist: to control the flow of traffic at a junction and reduce the risk of accidents.

Yet stop signals only work if people obey them. While you may not agree with all the traffic laws in North Carolina, you probably understand why failing to stop at a red light is illegal: It endangers lives. Yet some people continue to treat red lights as optional.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers who jump a red light represent 35% of those killed when someone goes through a stop signal. Pedestrians or cyclists account for 5% of the deaths.

Here are a few tips to reduce the risk of being injured or killed when someone fails to stop:

  • Allow a couple of seconds: Allow a few extra seconds when the lights change. It reduces the risk that someone who jumps the light or fails to slow down in time runs you over or crashes into you. Check it is clear before proceeding, do not assume it is because the light changes to green for you.
  • Pay extra attention: Whether on four wheels, two wheels, or foot, you need to pay full attention at intersections. It is not the time to be distracted checking your phone, talking to your friend, or listening to a great song on your headphones.
  • Reduce your speed: If a crash does happen, the more momentum you carry, the worse it will be. Slow down when approaching and leaving the lights.

If you have been injured by someone who failed to stop at a red light, seek legal help to claim compensation for your injuries.