The Benefits of Streetlights

Social IssuesEnvironment

  • Author Kaedon Griffith
  • Published March 19, 2024
  • Word count 586

Imagine driving through the darkness of night, the road ahead unclear, until the comforting glow of a streetlight illuminates the way, guaranteeing safe passage. This shows the beneficial effects of installing streetlights. Because streetlights are a critical measure for public safety, significantly reducing accidents by enhancing visibility, especially at intersections, and justifying their costs through the prevention of costly crashes, they are important to install.

First, streetlights prevent crashes and reduce the seriousness of crashes. When I drive in the dark, I feel more relaxed when there are streetlights at every intersection, since it makes it easier to see if there is a car there. Without light, getting into crashes on dark streets would be much easier. With better road visibility, there will be less need for distractingly bright headlights, which can blind oncoming traffic and have caused and will continue to cause accidents. According to a study done by Minnesota’s Department of Transportation, the benefits of illumination include a reduced number and severity of crashes, therefore reduced crash costs, reduced travel times, reduced vehicle operating costs, and an increased feeling of comfort in night-time driving. “The presence of streetlights contributes to personal comfort and confidence while driving at night, leading to a notable reduction in the number and severity of accidents.”

Secondly, it offers increased visibility and safety at intersections for pedestrians. According to a federal study, “in a virtual simulation, six-year-old children were struck 8% of the time when crossing busy one-lane streets, while the crash rates for eight-, 10-, and 12-year-old children were 6%, 5%, and 2%, respectively. Children’s limited ability to judge the available gap at a young age is primarily attributed to this difficulty in crossing streets. Younger children also take more time to take the first step in crossing the street, shortening the available gap. However, children’s crossing speeds do not differ from those of adults (O’Neal et al., 2018). When considering all pedestrians in addition to children, one of the factors contributing to the fatality rate at night is a lack of lighting.” When pedestrians cross streets without illumination, a driver may easily miss them and hit them, especially if he is tired. According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, “the night crash/total crash ratio is the most accurate measure because it measures changes in crash totals that are directly related to differences in visibility conditions and accounts for variations in traffic volume. Night crashes are significantly reduced at rural at-grade intersections when illumination is installed. Illumination results in a 45 percent reduction in the night crash rate and a 22 percent reduction in the night crash/total crash ratio.” Streetlights serve as a vital component in increasing visibility at intersections, thus alerting

Finally, while some may say that the expense of streetlights renders them impractical, the significance of human life outweighs any financial cost. The Minnesota Department of Transportation outlines that, while the initial installation costs for streetlights can range from $300 to $3500 and operational and maintenance costs vary, the savings from crash prevention far outweigh these expenses. According to findings from a National Safety Council study, the costs saved by averting crashes are substantial compared to the investment in lighting, demonstrating that the economic justification for modern lighting is sound due to the presence of pedestrians and reducing the likelihood of accidents.

For these reasons, you should meticulously consider getting streetlights erected on the streets. They prevent car accidents, increase pedestrian safety, and fit the budget. So, go to your local municipal office and place a request for more streetlights.

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daniel afeavo
daniel afeavo · 3 weeks ago
nice article to read

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