Energy-saving traffic lights caused crashes across the nation

Legal news for Wisconsin automobile accident attorneys. LED bulbs installed in traffic lights don’t burn hot enough to melt snow, causing crashes.

Automobile accident lawyers alerts- LED bulbs installed in traffic lights don’t burn hot enough to the melt snow-covered lights, which has led to car accidents.

Milwaukee, WI—Cities across the nation who thought they were solving an energy issue, actually created another problem. Many cities that have installed energy-efficient traffic lights discovered the heat emitted by the burning lights is not hot enough to melt the snow that accumulates on the lights. The traffic light can become crusted over in a storm, blocking the lights, which has led to at least a dozen car accidents and one fatality, as reported by MSNBC.

The reasoning behind switching traffic light bulbs to LED bulbs is that they draw 90 percent less energy than the generic incandescent bulb. The lifetime of the LED bulbs is longer and saves the cities much needed money. Although the bulbs have many advantages, their energy saving tactic is actually a drawback because the bulbs do not waste energy by producing heat, thus allowing snow to accumulate. Possible solutions to the problem are in the works, like installing weather shields, adding heating elements similar to what the airport runway lights use, or coating the lights with water repellent materials. Officials from the Wisconsin Transportation Department stated, the LED bulbs have been installed at hundreds of intersections across the state, which has saved the state nearly $750,000 in annual energy expenses. While incandescent bulbs need to be replaced every 12-18 months, the LED bulbs installed seven years ago are still burning strong.

Over ten years ago, many areas installed cool-burning LEDs, but that also created a problem for motorists, which caused accidents as well. For example, Illinois police officials stated during an April storm, Lisa Richhter, 34, reportedly had a green light when she attempted to make a left turn. Another driver who was traveling from the opposite direction didn’t realize he had a red light, because the light was covered by snow, and consequently slamming into Richter. Similar encounters have also been reported in Iowa, Minnesota, and other cold-weather states.

Police officials are urging motorists to treat intersections with obstructed traffic signals as if they were stop signs.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for automobile accident lawyers.