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Yellow Light Signals and Intersection Safety

Posted on in Car Accidents

Illinios auto accident lawyer, Illinois car crash attorney, Illnois personal injury attorney,With the abundance of car accidents that take place at intersections across the state of Illinois and all throughout the nation, it is no wonder experts have been compelled to take a closer look at traffic signal efficiency. While countless other factors contribute to the overwhelming number of collisions at intersections, such as distracted driving, speeding, and influenced driving, studies have shown that traffic signals often play a big role in the moments leading up to intersection-related accidents.

The Red Light Risk

One issue in particular that has prompted an ongoing, controversial debate among authorities and experts alike is the issue of red-light running. Many drivers take the risk of sailing through red lights at the very last minute, placing everyone in close proximity of the intersection in great danger. Red light camera installation has been a widespread response to this problem over the years, using the enforcement of traffic violations via camera to discourage the running of red lights.

Many of these camera installations have backfired, however, causing some drivers to stop short at lights when they see the intersection is photo enforced. As a result, many red-light cameras have actually increased the number of rear-end collisions at intersections, further perpetuating the big question: Are red light cameras really effective, and if they are not the answer to reducing accidents at intersections, what else can be done about our traffic signals to increase overall safety?

Yellow Light Efficiency

Research indicates that decreasing the number of collisions due to red-light running begins with observing driver behavior trends surrounding the yellow light. According to studies from Virginia Tech, only 1.4 percent of drivers cross the stop line after the light turns red. Despite this, more than 20 percent of traffic fatalities occur at intersections in the U.S. Generally, yellow signal time is set for 4.2 seconds on a 45 mph road. These standards are determined by factors such as driver perception and reflex time; drivers need time to first register the changing of the signal, and then proper time to accelerate or decelerate.

Drivers are constantly faced with the dilemma of having to decide whether to slow down and stop or speed up before the light turns red. A few yellow-light strategies that researchers say may help reduce intersection collisions include the use of additional caution lights that help tell drivers when a green light is about to change, allowing drivers a lengthier reaction time between green and yellow signal changes, as well as in-car display systems that can be customized to each driver's reaction time. Like any other evolving technology, studies on how to implement vehicle-to-vehicle and infrastructure-to-vehicle communication are ongoing and can improve with time.

If you have experienced an intersection-related collision firsthand due to a yellow or red light running incident, obtain the proper legal preparation you need to protect your rights by speaking with a qualified Lake County car accident attorney today. Call Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. at 847-662-3303 for a personal consultation.

Sources: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120911151835.htm
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