Seeing red

Posted on September 13th, 2011 by GEM Motoring Assist

Seeing redRecent research from an insurance company shows that 5.2 million drivers have passed through a red traffic signal in the last month.  The research also reveals that more than 1.5 million motorists admit to getting ‘a thrill’ when driving through amber traffic lights that they know will have turned red before they have passed through the crossing or junction.

More than 5.2 million motorists admit that they drive through an average of two red traffic lights each month.   Around 760,000 motorists habitually drive through red lights if they feel the road is clear and there is no traffic.

Apart from the considerable danger and risk they cause to others, drivers risk clocking up more than 36 million penalty points and fines totalling £721 million every month.

A worryingly high number of motorists, dubbed ‘amber gamblers’, are putting their lives and other road users’ at risk by failing to slow down for traffic lights about to turn red.  Almost one in ten (nine per cent) motorists don’t reduce their speed when approaching amber lights, with four per cent admitting to putting the accelerator to the floor to race through the lights.

Around 500,000 drivers risk being ‘rear ended’ as they stamp on their brakes as an automatic response whenever they see amber traffic lights.

It’s no surprise to learn that motorists who play Russian roulette at traffic lights are taking huge risks. Motorists involved in an accident if they pass through a red light will automatically be deemed at fault for a collision. They could also face higher car insurance premiums at renewal if they have points on their licence.

Vehicles approaching traffic lights and roundabouts are favourite targets for ‘crash for cash’ scams, where fraudsters fake accidents by making unnecessary emergency stops which force the following motorists to crash into them. Drivers should be aware that the car in front may brake very late if the light changes to amber, and should always proceed with caution. So, brake steadily when approaching amber or red traffic signals to avoid the risk of hitting the car in front if the lights change, as well ensuring the driver behind doesn’t crash into your vehicle.