Date of Award

8-2014

Document Type

Capstone-Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program Name

Emergency and Disaster Management

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Christi Scott Bartman

Abstract

LED emergency lights are one of the newest tools emergency responders are using to be visible. These lights are not without concern however. The purpose of this research is to address the primary question: Does the use of LED lighting on emergency vehicles contribute to secondary or subsequent collisions at accident scenes? Literature was reviewed on the topics of emergency vehicle and worker conspicuity, lighting color and flash patterns for emergency lighting, and driver distraction. Secondary research questions answered were: 1) What is the prevalence (both before and after LED) of secondary or subsequent accidents during emergency response activities? 2) How does LED lighting affect driver perception during nighttime and inclement weather? 3) What is the relationship between driver perception of an accident and their subsequent reaction? Research was then contrasted with the reviewed literature and recommendations were made including: adding emergency vehicle specific elements to nationwide uniform crash reporting, future research for LED lighting level standards, and manufacturer standard for auto-dimming LED emergency lights.

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