When asked, many drivers admit that they do take time at red lights to check their phones or send text messages. They know not to do it while they are driving, but it feels safe enough at a stoplight.
There are a few problems with this, however. One is that it keeps drivers from actively watching the lights and traffic around them. This can delay movement when the light turns green, leading to traffic congestion and road rage.
There is also the potential for an accident if a driver gets confused. For instance, the car ahead may inch forward. The texting driver may see that movement out of the corner of their eye and hit the gas. However, if the light is not actually green, they could end up driving right into the back of that vehicle.
Another issue is that distraction continues after the light turns green. For some people, it can last for 30 seconds. They are still thinking about the next message and not driving, so they may be more prone to mistakes.
Finally, a driver could get on their phone a bit too early. If they start looking at the phone before they completely stop, they could accidentally rear-end the next car in line at the light.
Texting at a stoplight may feel safe, but you can see that it comes with a lot of different risks. Even if you never do it, you could get hit by a driver who does. When this leads to injury, make sure you are well aware of the legal options you have to seek compensation.