Study Shows Distraction May Lead to Increase In Red Light Violations

Posted on June 7, 2013

We’ve written a lot about the impact that distracted driving can have on your ability to properly operate a motor vehicle.  When your mind and eyes are placed someplace other than the road, it simply becomes impossible to react in time to sudden changes in the environment.

A new study backs up this idea.  Put together by FocusDriven and the National Coalition for Safer Roads, the study attempted to deduce how many instances of an individual running a red light could be attributed to the driver being distracted.  Researchers compiled their results by analyzing data from 118 red light cameras over the course of three months.

Among the red light violations recorded, 12% could arguably have occurred because the driver was distracted.  When you extrapolate those findings outward, that would contribute to more than 7.3 million instances of distraction-related red light running across the country in 2012.

One other interesting facet of the research is the difference between areas with laws in place to combat distracted driving and those without.  If a strict law agains the habit was in place, the rate of distraction-based red light violations dropped below 10% of overall violations, but when no such laws were on the books, the rate jumped above 16%.  This demonstrates the impact that cellphone driving laws can have on the safety of a community.

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