Fatal crashes caused by drivers who run red lights rising fast

Minnesota drivers have been better than the national average.
Publish date:

A new report from AAA shows that fatal accidents caused by drivers running red lights has hit a 10-year high. 

The latest annual data comes from 2017, when 939 people – drivers, passengers and pedestrians – died in crashes caused by drivers ignoring or failing to see red lights on U.S. roadways, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which cites crash data from the government.

On average, 2.4 people are killed every day by red-light runners since 2008, and the number has been on the rise. Minnesota is slightly below the national average, at 1.6 deaths caused by red-light crashes each year since 2008. 

The 2017 numbers blow away any other year between 2008-16. 

  • 2008: 799 (deaths)
  • 2009: 715
  • 2010: 726
  • 2011: 754
  • 2012: 731
  • 2013: 739
  • 2014: 761
  • 2015: 831
  • 2016: 874

In Minnesota, there has been between 6-11 red-light running traffic deaths every year since 2008, for a total of 91 during the 10-year data cycle. Fifty of those 91 deaths were identified as occupants of vehicles hit by red-light runners. 

"I wish we had a better answer than we do," senior researcher Brian Tefft said in an interview with the AP. Tefft suggests distracted driving as a possible reason for the increase. 

Next Up

Jorge Polanco

Shoemaker, Twins lineup rebounds against Tigers

Jorge Polanco homered in a 7-3 victory over Detroit.

Kirill Kaprizov / Minnesota Wild

Watch: Kaprizov's OT winner lifts Wild into 2nd place in West

Kaprizov's goal gave the Wild a 3-2 victory over the Ducks.

Byron Buxton

Buxton placed on IL, Trevor Larnach called up

Buxton could be out "for weeks" with a hip strain.

A bald eagle perched on branches.

USFWS confirms 2 bald eagles were shot dead

The agency is offering a reward for information in the case.

A newborn baby, wrapped in a blanket with its mother.

Most popular baby names includes one not in top 10 for 100 years

But Olivia and Liam once again led the way for girls and boys.

Minnesota Lottery

Names of big Minnesota Lottery winners to be kept private thanks to new law

The Minnesota Legislature passed the bill unanimously and Gov. Tim Walz signed it into law this week.

FLickr - COVID-19 vaccination - Commander, U.S. Naval Forces

All 8 state COVID-19 vaccine sites now accept walk-ins

Adults can get a no-cost vaccine without making an appointment.


Report: Vikings owners nearing purchase of Orlando City MLS franchise

The Wilfs reportedly attempted to buy the Minnesota United expansion franchise years ago.

bemidji paul bunyan

Video shows the moment someone broke the Paul Bunyan statue's arm

Police are asking for the public's help to identify those involved.

bridgeman's food truck duluth

Last remaining Bridgeman's Restaurant is launching a food truck

The Duluth restaurant is the only remaining full-service Bridgeman's in business.

FLickr - electric drive vehicle charging - Open Grid Scheduler

Minnesota can move ahead with Clean Cars program, judge says

She recommended the proposed rules be adopted.


Screen Shot 2020-06-10 at 8.59.11 AM

Charges: Driver caused fatal crash after running red light at speed

The crash killed one driver, a man from Coon Rapids.


2 drivers, 1 pedestrian dead after trio of crashes in Minnesota

Seventy-two people have died on Minnesota roads so far in 2020, according to the Office of Traffic Safety.

Charges: Trucker was texting girlfriend before causing fatal horror crash in Lake Elmo

A 54 year old business owner from Wisconsin died in the smash.

Drivers urged to slow down as roads fill with crashes

Roads are very slick after overnight snow.

'Extremely icy' highway littered with crashes in central MN

Photos show a glaze of ice on Hwy. 108 in central Minnesota.

traffic stop

Speeding remains dangerous issue on Minnesota roads, DPS says

There were at least five instances of motorists clocked at more than 125 mph.