Length of Yellow Lights Linked to Intersectional Collisions

by Staff Blogger | October 11th, 2012

Oct. 11, 2012

Research recently released by the Center for Sustainable Mobility at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute shows the length of yellow lights at roadway intersections could be a key to preventing motor vehicle accidents. Phys.org reports that new technology allowing warning systems to adjust for different reaction times may be effective in reducing the number of automobile accidents.

The idea for the study came to lead researcher after he was ticketed for passing through a red light. The researcher claimed he was in a position where if he would’ve ran a red light if he continued, yet would have caused a Roanoke Auto Accident if he had stopped. The decision to stop or go is based on judgment of distance and time. If the timing of the yellow light is not set correctly, a “dilemma zone” can occur.

He began using Virginia’s Smart Road, a stretch of road where researchers can control traffic signals, and found these dilemma zones can be exaggerated when a motor vehicle is speeding or the driver’s perception is affected.

The study concluded the use of caution lights as traffic signals are changing from green, in order to give drivers more time to react, may be effective in preventing motor vehicle collisions. Also, new technology creating vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication will create better warning systems.

The Roanoke Personal Injury Lawyers with Skolrood Law Firm are hopeful continued research and improved technology will continue the advancement of motor vehicle safety in the United States.