How Big Are Traffic Lights? Taller Than a Lot of People

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You may not have noticed, but the size of each one can vary depending on where it needs to be placed. They might seem small when suspended in midair, but even a traffic light lens is bigger than you realize!

How big is the average traffic light lens?

There’s another type of three-light traffic light that’s even bigger, measuring 42 inches tall. On these traffic lights, the lenses are 13.5 inches wide and eight inches deep. Both of these lights can weigh between 30 and 50 pounds.

Some traffic lights are taller thanks to additional lenses. They’re usually added below the standard three lenses or placed off to the side, often containing green or flashing yellow arrows. These lenses allow drivers to know that they have the right of way at some traffic stops.

Where can you find the largest traffic light lenses?

You’ll typically see the 42-inch traffic light in areas with higher traffic, such as New York City. However, this doesn’t mean that only the biggest traffic lights are useful. Actually, many states prefer to use eight-inch lenses because they have more customizable features compared to twelve-inch lenses.

How local laws and driver populations make a difference

Every state in the U.S. has its own laws regarding the size of a traffic light and its lenses. These laws also extend to where a traffic light can be placed and how high it should be above the road. Obviously, you can’t have a traffic light on every street, as this might lead to more confusion and accidents.

In addition to safety concerns, traffic lights are obviously expensive to manufacture and install. Therefore, some states tailor traffic light regulations with budget costs being the primary concern. In either case, your state’s Department of Transportation ensures that these regulations are followed.

In areas with heavier traffic, municipalities will err on the side of caution and opt for twelve-inch lenses. This improves the likelihood that the lights will be seen from any distance. Cities with lower speed limits and driver populations often do just fine with eight-inch lenses.

Ignoring traffic lights could impact your auto insurance

Did you know that even a minor traffic infraction could increase your insurance premium by as much as 15%? This is one of the reasons why traffic light lenses have to be so large. Drivers need to be able to see them from a great distance to avoid severe accidents.

Jerry contacts your insurance company to get the details of your current coverage so you don’t have to scale a mountain of questions. You get all the best prices and coverage with none of the legwork. And if that company isn’t for you, Jerry helps cancel your old policy.

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