Signals are one of those inventions that have saved thousands of lives without us knowing. They offer optimum control at intersections, relaying messages to everyone involved as to what to do and what not to do. Their main purpose is keeping everyone around them safe, and not just drivers, but pedestrians as well.
However, contrary to what many people think, traffic signals have a wider range of application besides being used at intersections. They’re a frequent sight in construction sites, warehouse loading areas, mines, parking lots and the list goes on and on. Traffic lights can increase the traffic handling capacity of an intersection, given the fact that they’ve been installed under conditions that completely justify their use.
That being said, they can significantly reduce the amount of specific types of car accidents, most notably broadside collisions. And while many people are aware of the fact that traffic signals reduce the number of accidents, a lot of them don’t realize that they can be the cause of increased rear-end collisions. However, that’s something traffic engineers are willing to accept, due to the fact that rear-end collisions aren’t as dangerous as broadside collisions are.
Moreover, if there’s really no need for a traffic light control system, the installation can actually decrease the overall safety and efficiency of intersections, and even parking lots. People need to realize that traffic lights aren’t the solution to every traffic problem – that they are used to get the most efficient and safest traffic flow possible.
A common example of a properly placed traffic light control system would be at a paid parking lot on a busy street. The parking lot attendant can sit comfortably in his/her cabin and let vehicles in and out of the parking lot, based on whether there’s room available or not. These traffic lights usually feature only two aspects – green and red, and they’re pretty easy to control manually.
Nowadays, most traffic lights use LED bulbs for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, LED bulbs illuminate very bright light, which makes them ideal even in foggy and rainy weather conditions. Next, they’re very durable, reliable and long-lasting. LED bulbs can last up to 50.000 working hours, which also makes them low maintenance.
Lastly, LED bulbs are very energy efficient. Compared to incandescent bulbs, they use very small amounts of energy to generate light. Their fast response time is also something that shouldn’t be overlooked, especially in this case when one second can be the difference between safety and danger.