The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has your safety in mind as it begins to convert all traffic signals in the state to new, high-visibility lights. This effort is in response to the high rates of accidents, injuries, and fatalities occurring at intersections across the state. According to the Federal Highway Administration, a quarter of all traffic fatalities happen in or near intersections and half of all traffic injuries can be attributed to intersections. In Indiana, nearly 200 people are killed in intersection accidents each year.
How Are the New Traffic Lights Different?
While we are all familiar with the orange traffic light hanging over intersections, studies have shown that the red, yellow, and green lights can fade out or get lost against the orange background. The new lights have a black back plate surrounding the light, which helps the light to stand out visually to a driver. Surrounding the back plate will be a reflective border, which will further accentuate the light, especially at night or when traffic lights are not working due to a power outage.
Will These Lights Really Make a Difference?
The Federal Highway Administration conducted a study of the new light design at several intersections in Columbia, South Carolina, and found that the lights had a positive impact on intersection safety. In fact, according to the study, crashes at intersections were reduced by 29 percent. In addition, crashes involving injuries were reduced by 37 percent. Most impressively, accidents occurring in intersections at night or in the early morning hours were reduced by almost 50 percent. These findings have convinced INDOT that replacing all intersection signals with these high-visibility lights will be well worth the effort.
When Will I See New Lights Near Me?
While INDOT plans to replace every traffic signal in the state eventually, they are starting with intersections in Greenwood, Seymour, and Bloomington this spring and summer. In all, 364 signals will be replaced in these three cities. All of the new lights are expected to be installed by July 31, 2016. INDOT authorities are hopeful that these new lights will increase driver awareness at intersections and reduce the number of collisions occurring there.