In the last couple of weeks we have noticed a high trend in side impact accident repairs in all three of our locations: Grover Street, Emmet Street and Council Bluffs. Whether the collisions are the result of people speeding or the driver being distracted with a cell phone the one thing in common has been; a red light is involved. Great Plains Auto Body recommends, “To Think Again Before Running That Red Light.“ Why? Cities that have installed red light cameras have reported in their first two years of using cameras, injury accidents on stretches of highway leading to and from downtown (Omaha Metro) areas have decreased by as much as 75 percent, and at just above 20 percent at many intersections. Overall, red light cameras are reported to have reduced accidents by nearly 35 percent. So why do so many people oppose their use? Among other excuses, their flawed logic questions ticketing vehicle owners instead of the drivers themselves, or the fact that they are unable to face and question their accuser in court. The former can be associated with being given a parking ticket and the latter associated with forensic evidence similar to DNA and fingerprints – only in this case it’s photographic evidence.
If you’re approaching a red light at an intersection, then traffic that is currently moving on a green light through that intersection isn’t expecting you to be there – so you’re almost asking to either hit someone or be hit yourself. Think about this – historically, approximately 45% of all car crashes occur at intersections. In fact, hundreds of people nationwide die every year as a result of someone running a red light at an intersection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that half of the people killed in red-light running crashes are NOT the signal violators. They are drivers and pedestrians hit by red-light runners. The following statistics further amplify why red-light running is an issue that requires nationwide attention. Over Ninety-seven percent of drivers feel that other drivers running red-lights are a major safety threat. One in three people claim they personally know someone injured or killed in a red-light running crash
What do you have to gain by running a red light? Getting into an accident will certainly delay you for a whole lot longer than stopping for a red light ever would. Add the hassle of insurance claims, the possibility of civil lawsuits, or worse – if the accident is severe enough, a detour to the city morgue. Of course, let’s not overlook the fact that a red-light-running crash can increase your car insurance premiums. The jump in premiums varies from one customer to the next. Car insurance companies regularly look at a variety of factors when considering a hike in your premiums, such as driving record (including accidents caused by running a red light), type of car, claims history, vehicle use, location and age. Accidents at intersections all too often involve the front of one vehicle striking the side of another. Of course, speed and other factors like side impact airbags determine severity, but the side of vehicles is the most vulnerable part of the majority of vehicles on the road. Add that the person running the red light is probably speeding to make it through the intersection, and the danger is compounded.
When you approach an intersection, do so with caution – drive defensively. Avoid the temptation of impatience – plan ahead and get in your car a little bit early so you don’t feel that pressure to speed and get through that light. Without that planning, issues like impatience and frustration can harm your driving behavior. If you can allow a few extra minutes for your commute, you can withstand some long lights. If you do experience a collision be sure to call one of our collision repair locations. In fact, it might help if you put our information on your insurance car so you have it on hand (402)334-7100.
Want more detailed information? Contact us – Great Plains Auto Body is an independent, family owned and operated collision repair facility providing auto body repair, frame repair, painting touch up and repair services for all makes and models of import and domestic cars. We have three locations. Omaha Metro (Grover Street and Emmet Street) and Council Bluffs, IA provide Enterprise rental cars while your repairs are being completed.