Houston Leads U.S. in Red-Light Accidents

According to a report last spring from the National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR), Houston is the most dangerous city in the United States when it comes to drivers running red lights. The report states that 181 people are dead because someone did not stop at a red light in Houston between 2004 and 2013. The other nine cities that ranked poorly were Phoenix, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, Philadelphia, Tucson and Denver.

Other statistics released by the NCSR include:

  • During 2014, 3.7millionsdrivers ran red lights in the U.S.
  • Between 2004 and 2013, 7,799 fatalities resulted from red light running in the United States.
  • Red light running peaks during summer, especially on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day.
  • The most dangerous time for red light running is between 1 and p.m. Friday on these summer holiday weekends.
  • In 2013, 697 people were killed and an estimated 127,000 were injured by someone who ran a red light.
  • Thirty-six percent of drivers say that they run or have run red lights.
  • Red light running is the most common cause of traffic injuries in urban areas.
  • About half the victims in red-light crashes are pedestrians, cyclists and passengers in other cars.

Another source of information about red light runners is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). For example, a 2009 IIHS study at one Arlington, Virginia, intersection found that drivers who ran red lights were three times more likely to have multiple speeding tickets. Another study showed that drivers were more likely to be male, younger and have alcohol-related accidents in addition to speeding tickets or convictions. Another statistic: Allowing right turns on red increases bicycle and pedestrian accidents significantly.

The NCSR named the week of Aug. 2-8, 2015, as National Stop on Red Week.