Motorists drive through 278 red traffic lights a minute
Almost one in ten drivers don't slow down when lights turn amber - with 1.5 million (4%) getting a thrill out of putting the accelerator to the floor to race through the lights, according to research from Direct Line Car Insurance.
Over 5.2 million (14%) motorists admit that they drive through an average of two red traffic lights each month. Over 760,000 (2%) motorists habitually drive through red lights if they feel the road is clear and there is no traffic.
As a result of their reckless behaviour at red lights, drivers risk clocking up over 36 million penalty points (three for each offence) and fines from fixed penalty notices totalling £721 million every month.
Andy Goldby, director of motor underwriting at Direct Line, says: "Motorists who play Russian roulette at the traffic lights are putting their own and other road-users lives at risk. 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. 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."
One in twenty motorists also risk head-on collisions by driving through temporary traffic lights, as they assume the lights are broken if they take more than a couple of minutes to change.
West Midlands drivers worst
Drivers in the West Midlands are the biggest risk takers when it comes to driving through red traffic signals. One in seven (14%) motorists in the region has driven through a red signal in the last month. Drivers in the East of England are the least likely (9%) to drive through red traffic signals.