Safety Evaluation of Converting Traffic Signals from Incandescent to LED Bulbs Academic Article uri icon


  • Data from 282 signalized intersections in Charlotte, North Carolina, were used to examine the safety effect of converting the signals to composite LED bulbs. An empirical Bayes before-and-after method was used for the evaluation. Since this was a blanket installation by the city of Charlotte, a comparison group of stop-controlled intersections was used to account for possible trends during the study period. Crash modification factors (CMFs) were estimated for three- and four-leg intersections for eight different crash types including crashes at dawn and dusk and in dark conditions. For three-leg intersections, all CMFs were higher than 1.0; this factor indicates a possible increase in crashes due to the LEDs. However, none of these CMFs were statistically different from 1.0 at the .05 significance level. For four-leg intersections, the CMFs associated with rear-end crashes were lower than 1.0 and statistically significant at the .05 level; this finding indicates a reduction in these crash types following the changeover to the LEDs. There was substantial difference between the sites in terms of the effect of the LEDs. The reasons for these differences are not known at this time. Future research should investigate whether LEDs are more or less beneficial depending on the characteristics of the intersection including type of area, sight distance, traffic volume, and phasing scheme.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Srinivasan, R., Carter, D., Smith, S., & Lan, B. o.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Srinivasan, Raghavan||Carter, Daniel||Smith, Sarah||Lan, Bo

publication date

  • January 2013