National Highway Traffic Safety Agency seeks comments on LED stop lamps' effectiveness at reducing accidents

Report shows 3.6 percent improvement in rear-end crashes following switch to LED stop lamps.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Agency (NHTSA) announced on Feb. 28 that it is seeking comments on the recently-published Technical Report entitled, “Effectiveness of LED Stop Lamps for Reducing Rear-End Crashes: Analyses of State Crash Data,” according to the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA)> 

The goal of the technical report was to show whether or not LED lamps were more effective at preventing rear-end crashes than typical incandescent stop lamp bulbs. The study of crash data was prompted by initial laboratory tests which appeared to show that LED lamps may be more beneficial in preventing crashes.

While the technical report shows an overall 3.6 percent improvement in rear-end crashes after a switch to LED stop lamps, the report’s analysis is that the testing was inconclusive. Of the 17 make-models tested, there was actually an increase in rear-end crashes after the switch in nine of those make-models. The summary notes that the overall decrease was due to high-sale volume vehicles like the Honda Accord.

Furthermore, none of the make-models tested had only their bulb type changed. In fact, all of the make-models also had changed some other element, such as the lamp location on the rear of the car. The Technical Report notes that the lack of consistency makes the study’s results difficult confirm as conclusive.

To see the full technical report, go to http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pubs/811712.pdf. If you would like to provide comments on the report before the June 28, 2013 deadline, instructions for commenting are available at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-02-28/pdf/2013-04690.pdf.

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