CONTINUOUS FREEWAY ILLUMINATION AND ACCIDENTS ON A SECTION OF RTE. I-95

Beginning with the oil embargo of 1973-74, highway lighting-and particularly continuous lighting on freeways-became one of the first items to be cut back to conserve energy and revenue. During this period of energy shortage, considerable lighting was turned off in Virginia and in particular the 13.8 km (8.57 mi) section of continuous lighting on I-95 between Springfield and Washington, D.C. By comparing the accident rate ratios for the lights turned off with those for the lights turned on it was found, in an earlier study, that the lighting decreased the night accident rate on this section of I-95 during the three-month period studied. Subsequently, the lights were reactivated. The study reported here extended that data to cover a six-month period and used a more refined approach in the analysis. For the period including December, January, and February, when heavy traffic volumes are on the I-95 roadway during the early hours of darkness, the lighting was found to be particularly effective in reducing the nighttime accident rate. For the March, April, and May period, when the hours of daylight lengthen, the night accident rate was improved; but the improvement was not found to be significant at the 95% confidence level due, most likely, to the low number of accidents involved in the test. For the overall six-month period it was concluded that the lighting reduced the night accident rate. This finding was significant at the 95% confidence level. Evaluation of the night-to-day accident rate ratios on an unlit control section of I-95 substantiated this finding. /Author/

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Virginia Highway and Transportation Research Council

    Charlottesville, VA  United States 
  • Authors:
    • Hilton, M H
  • Publication Date: 1978-8

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 30 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00194379
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Report/Paper Numbers: VHTRC
  • Files: NTL, TRIS, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: May 26 1979 12:00AM