Light Colours Used

As any first responder will surely tell you, the use of emergency vehicle lights truly conveys a message of urgency to others near or on the road. For those that rely more on science than experience, a study conducted at Loughborough University, United Kingdom, proved that emergency lights convey a message of emergency to other drivers. In fact, the study went on to prove that the faster emergency vehicle lighting flashed, the more effective the lights were on the road. The study went on to conclude that flash patterns were also very important.

Emergency Vehicle Lights in Daytime and Nighttime Hours

The study also tested the most popular emergency vehicle lights; red, blue, white, green, and amber/yellow, to determine what emergency light colors had the best detection time. To do this effectively, researchers tested all warning light colors at the same intensity for the same amount of time. To be fair, each color was tested during daytime and nighttime

Warning Light Colors that Tested the Best

At the end of the study, researchers concluded that split combination red/blue lights with optional amber lights faired the best in terms of detection times. This proved to be true during daytime and nighttime hours. Solid amber lighting was found to have the worst detection times in both nighttime and daytime hours.

Emergency Vehicle Light Colors

Risks Associated with Using Emergency Vehicle Lights

In terms of perceptions and scientific research, it is impossible to talk about emergency vehicle lights without talking about risks associated with this type of warning lights. For years, many people have discussed the risk of photosensitive epilepsy, glare, and photoaxis when emergency lights are used. During the study, researchers tested emergency lights in terms of these conditions and came up with the following hypothesis

Are all Drivers at Risk for Photosensitive Epilepsy?

Photosensitive epilepsy is an epileptic reaction to flashing lights. However, the study proved that not all people are susceptible to this type of epilepsy. In fact, only people who are prone to seizures are at risk of this condition. It is also important to point out that an epileptic seizure has varying degrees of severity that range from a strange feeling to a full-blown seizure. While some people may have a seizure triggered by warning emergency vehicle lights, it is not common. This is true because emergency lights run at a much lower flash rate than other lights that are known to cause seizures.

When is Glare from Emergency Lights the Worse?

Glare is something every driver has to deal with at some point or another. However, for emergency responders who are often driving at high rates of speed or when road conditions are nearly impassable, glare can be a significant hindrance. This is true because road glare is increased drastically during inclement weather. Furthermore, glare can be made worse by a dirty windshield or for a driver that wears eyeglasses. It is also important to note that there are two different types of road glare. The first is often referred to as “disability glare.” This is the most dangerous type of glare because it leaves a driver temporarily blind. The other common type of road glare is “discomfort glare.” Discomfort glare doesn’t blind the driver, but the glare may cause a driver to divert their eyes from the road.

New LED Technology

What can Drivers do to Reduce Glare while using Emergency Lights?

When researchers conducted the study they were able to determine that road glare is the most disabling when amber emergency vehicle lights are used. To combat glare, drivers must decide what color light is best for their vehicle and their profession. Keeping the windshield of the vehicle clean will also help to reduce glare during nighttime and daytime hours.

What did the Loughborough Study Determine about Photoaxis?

Photoaxis is a theory that claims people are drawn to lights. In fact, photoaxis is often referred to as the “moth-to-flame” effect. This theory claims that some drivers are so distracted by emergency lighting that they are actually drawn to drive towards emergency vehicle lights. At the end of the study, researchers were not able to support this theory at all.

Purchase Emergency Lights from 911 Signal USA

With all things considered, you can’t go wrong when you shop for emergency lighting at 911 Signal USA. We are experts in the emergency light and equipment market, which means we can provide the first responder and emergency responder communities with the very best lights and sirens available. Better yet, since we cut out the middleman and pass our savings on to our customers, we can provide drivers with the very best lighting options at discounted prices that can’t be beat anywhere else.

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