The LaneLight LED Enhanced Crosswalk Selection Guide

Finding the appropriate LED enhancements for your crosswalk systems can sometimes get confusing. Our crosswalk selection guide helps you determine which option works best for your requirements by recommending one or more of our flashing LED systems.

When we talk about improving the safety of pedestrians on our roadways, crosswalks are often the first thing that comes to mind. Crosswalks place pedestrians directly in the flow of traffic, so when drivers are not aware of a crosswalk that is in use, accidents can be particularly dangerous.

While there is generally a requirement for pedestrians to walk across a roadway at street level to get to the other side, this does not mean that the risk of crossing a roadway cannot be managed.

Modern technology and engineering have dramatically improved the safety systems we can incorporate into our roadways. From roadway signage to in-road LED systems and overhead beacons, the choices are plentiful.

But what LED enhanced system is best for your crosswalk?

This crosswalk selection guide breaks down the various options available to you for improving the safety of your crosswalks.

Do you need to enhance your crosswalk with LED systems?

The first question you likely have is, “does my crosswalk need LED lighting?” The answer is not always simple and can vary depending on the situation. Of course, budget is almost always a concern, but any form of enhancement is better than nothing. Even a low-cost solution can benefit most crosswalk applications.

The four main factors used to determine crosswalk treatment recommendations are:

  • Number of roadway lanes.
  • Vehicle traffic speed.
  • ADT (Average Daily Traffic), meaning how many vehicles pass through the crosswalk in a day.
  • The presence of a median.

As you may have guessed, the lower the number of roadway lanes, vehicle traffic speed and ADT, the lower risk your crosswalk is to pedestrians. The addition of a median also helps to decrease pedestrian accident risk.

What else do I need to think of before researching flashing LED crosswalk enhancements?

In addition to the four main factors listed above, consideration must be made for other factors, such as:

  • Is the crosswalk in close proximity to a pedestrian generator such as a bus stop, school, park or hospital?
  • How many pedestrians are using the crosswalk every day?
  • Where is the nearest marked crosswalk?

The flowchart below highlights some of the considerations you should make prior to choosing a crosswalk treatment.

Crosswalk LED enhanced product selection flowchart

What crosswalk enhancement system do I need?

Crosswalk enhancements come in many forms, from simple signage to overhead lighting and in-road LED systems. Any sort of enhancement will improve the safety of your crosswalk, but certain systems prove to be more effective when ADT (average daily traffic), traffic speeds and the number of lanes are increased.

The addition of a median also plays an important part in pedestrian accident rates, as studies have shown a decrease in pedestrian crosswalk accidents when a median is in place.

Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB)

Rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFB) are a rather simple enhancement that produce excellent results at lower ADT and lower speeds. RRFBs feature two large LED arrays that flash in an FHWA approved “wig-wag” pattern, prompting drivers to yield to pedestrians. The addition of an RRFB system dramatically improves driver yielding from between 0 and 26 percent yield rates pre-installation to between 72 and 96 percent post-installation.

RRFB rectangular rapid flashing beacon crosswalk

In-Road Warning Lights

By placing the LED warning system directly in the roadway, in-road warning lights provide a driver-facing system. This is important due to the rise in distracted driving resulting from increased cell phone usage and technology dependence. When distracted, drivers experience “tunnel vision,” where they only see what is on the road directly in front of them, often missing traditional roadside warning systems.

In-road warning lights have been shown to nearly double the percentage of drivers who yield at a crosswalk, increase pedestrian usage of crosswalks and improve overall pedestrian safety.

in-road crosswalk lighting

Pedestrian Signals – AKA HAWK Beacons

Pedestrian signals, also known as pedestrian hybrid beacons or HAWK beacons are signals designed for crosswalks that experience high levels of fast-moving, daily traffic over multiple lanes. HAWK beacons extend over the top of roadways and are activated by the pedestrian. The beacons follow a flashing sequence designed to alert vehicles and safely move pedestrians across the roadway while minimizing the interruption to the flow of traffic.

HAWK beacons are the most expensive crosswalk warning systems but are often needed for high-speed and high-volume crossings, where they produce a 69 percent reduction in pedestrian accidents.

HAWK crosswalk warning light system

Crosswalk Selection Chart

Below, our crosswalk treatment selection chart allows you to easily determine the recommended treatment for your requirements.

Please note that “grade separated crossing” refers to elevated crossings built over the top of roadways.

crosswalk LED product selection table

Other crosswalk enhancement options

If your budget or any other reason prevents you from investing in an RRFB, in-road system or HAWK system, there are a few other options that will improve the safety of your crosswalks. LED enhanced signs or even solar-powered roadway markers are great choices to help catch the attention of distracted drivers.

As always, if you have any questions or are looking for a quote, make sure to reach out. Our team has over 20 years of experience in the LED warning system industry.