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Study Finds Longer Yellow Traffic Lights Increased Intersection Safety in Albuquerque

Posted in Auto Accidents

According to a study conducted by the University of New Mexico’s Institute for Social Research, safety was increased at a number of Albuquerque intersections after traffic engineers lengthened the amount of time signals shone yellow. Mayor Richard Berry reportedly commissioned the $25,000 study in an effort to determine whether the recent increase in yellow light times at specific Albuquerque intersections actually improved crash rates. As part of the study, individuals at the Institute for Social Research examined collision rates and signal timing at a total of 60 Albuquerque intersections. Researchers found that in the 11 months following the yellow light timing change, motor vehicle accidents decreased by approximately eight percent at the 18 intersections where caution light times were extended. Meanwhile, the number of accidents at the other intersections examined reportedly remained constant. According to Mayor Berry, the study confirmed that the often imperceptibly longer yellow lights increased motorist safety.

Previously, the 18 intersections affected had red-light cameras installed. After voters struck the red-light camera program down, city officials chose to extend the duration of yellow lights at the intersections. Although crashes at the intersections have decreased, one researcher, Paul Guerin, warned it may be tough to determine the actual effect the longer caution lights had on safety because the red light cameras that were previously installed could have skewed the results. He stated the intersections may have had fewer collisions because drivers were unaware the red-light cameras were no longer in operation. As part of the study, researchers also examined two intersections at which the city chose to increase the duration of red lights. According to the Institute for Social Research, the effect extended red lights had on intersection safety was unclear.

Albuquerque officials are reportedly considering whether to increase the length of caution lights at a number of other allegedly dangerous intersections within the city. City officials stated they were unlikely to increase the timing of yellow lights much, however. Some fear drivers may use longer caution lights to unsafely squeeze through intersections in an effort to avoid being stopped by a red light.

Sadly, many individuals are catastrophically injured or killed in New Mexico automobile accidents every year. Car crashes can be caused by a number of factors including a drunk, impaired, inattentive, or reckless driver. Collisions may also result from hazardous road conditions and automobile defects. Those who are harmed by a driver in New Mexico may be eligible to receive financial compensation for medical costs, lost wages, lost benefits, pain and suffering, and any disability that resulted from the accident. The close family members of those killed in a motor vehicle crash may also be able to recover for funeral expenses and other damages. An experienced personal injury lawyer can explain your options for recovery.

If you or a loved one was injured New Mexico car accident, contact the Fine Law Firm today. Our hardworking Albuquerque personal injury attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience representing car accident victims throughout the State of New Mexico. At the Fine Law Firm, our experienced lawyers are available to help you collect the damages you deserve following an automobile, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, or other accident. To schedule a free confidential case evaluation, contact the capable attorneys at the Fine Law Firm through our website, or give us a call at (505) 889-3463.

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Wrongful Death Case Filed Against Two Santa Fe Mental Health Professionals, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, September 25, 2012
Farmington Teen Involved in Fatal Crash Begins Rehabilitation, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, September 18, 2012
Additional Resources:

City Says Intersections Safer After Change, by Dan McKay, Albuquerque Journal