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To Illuminate or Not to Illuminate: Roadway Lighting as it Affects Traffic Safety at Intersections

Lighting Research Center and Penn State Researchers identify links between visibility and safety from roadway lighting. The team used lighting and crash data for state highway intersections in Minnesota to develop quantitative models relating nighttime driving safety to the presence of lighting at these intersections. Importantly, these models also included the effects of features like signals, medians and other intersection design and operational features in order to segregate the effects of lighting from these other aspects. Quality lighting, such as the uniform coverage that LED-based luminaires are capable of, can result in a 12% lower night-to-day crash ratio in urban intersections.