We are all familiar with the three colours on traffic lights. They remain a classic example of universally recognizable design. But are the colours effective and safe, or do they need a re-look?
Colour blindness has been known to affect about 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women the world over. That translates to 8% of world population dealing with colour blindness. And the three most common colours that people affected by it have trouble identifying, are red, blue and green.
Also, of these three colours, the most common type of hereditary colour blindness is the red-green colour blindness. And males are genetically more prone to be affected by the red-green colour blindness.
Interestingly, red and green are both present on traffic signals. More so, they are used to signify two completely different traffic actions. Combine that with the fact that there is currently a higher percentage of male drivers globally. Could this mean a higher risk of accidents, especially at traffic lights and intersections?
Here’s what red and green look like to someone suffering from Deuteranopia, or red-green colour blindness.
One could argue that the mere position of red and green on the light is sufficient to distinguish between them. Which, if taken a step further, could mean that having three lights of a single colour could also serve the purpose.
However, countries like Romania probably don’t agree. Which is why they do not issue driving licences to colour-blind people.
Would it help if country governments considered a completely different set of colours? And while replacing lights across the world would be quite a task, would it be worth the effort?
You could read facts about colour-blindness here: link