News | Published:

Road Lighting in the United States

Nature volume 139, pages 241242 (06 February 1937) | Download Citation



IN World Power of November some interesting statistics are given, relating to road accidents, which illustrate the responsibility of bad or non-existent lighting for road deaths and injuries. On the Mount Vernon Highway, near Washington, there were 2-87 accidents per million vehicles per mile, between July 1 and December 1, 1932. When lighting was suspended during the depression, the number of accidents increased to 7.02 over the same period per million vehicles per mile an increase of 250 per cent. In New Jersey at present, the night-time accident rates on three unlighted main roads carrying dense traffic are 270 per cent more than the day-time rates. Another striking figure is that more than half the 36,400 people killed by motor-cars in 1935 were injured during the hours of darkness, although the traffic volume was certainly not more than one third that during the day-time. It is concluded that it is not surprising that American engineers are alarmed when they see that New York State, for example, makes an annual expenditure of about twenty-two million dollars in getting rid of railway, street and highway crossings, and yet does little towards the illumination of roads at night. The total number of preventable accidents in 1934 due to railway crossings was 151.

About this article

Publication history





    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

    Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing