Deaths from drivers running red lights reached a 10-year high in 2017, according to a new study.
The number of people killed when someone plowed through a light reached 939 in 2017, the last full year numbers were available, according to the study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
That was up 31% from a low of 715 in 2009. And the fatalities in those red-light collisions increased for a fifth straight year in 2017.
The study tracks anyone who was killed, including the driver, passengers, people in another vehicle or people outside the vehicle.
“This is at least two people killed every day at the hands of drivers blowing through red lights,” said Jake Nelson, director of traffic safety advocacy and research for AAA.
The study, which tracked the figures back to 2008, did not attempt to ascertain the reasons for the spike, but AAA experts proposed a few possible factors.
One clear contributor is that Americans are driving more, said Brian Tefft, senior researcher at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The number of miles traveled rose 5% during the period tracked by AAA, according to the Federal Highway Administration.