Do Traffic Light Colours Need a Re-look?

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 blindnessAnd 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.
Deuteranopia Color Spectrum
Source: link
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
Would love your thoughts on this.
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Step Up – Escalators Are Dangerous

Escalators at the Copenhagen Metro

Most of us have used escalators at malls, in office buildings and at airports. And we have surely seen that nervous person standing at one end of it, caught in a mental conflict of whether to step on it or not.

While some of us have been mildly amused by that person, their fear is, in fact, more than justified.

Escalators aren’t as safe as a lot of us have come to assume they are. In 2013, there were 12,260 escalator-related injuries and deaths in the US. Of those, children and senior citizens comprised over 60% of the victims. [source]

The web is filled with horrific accidents involving escalators. I just saw this one a short while earlier. Apart from being really tragic, it serves as a strong reminder to parents, to get their heads out of their phones and out of distracting conversations when accompanied by young kids.

A Suggestion

Given the obvious risks associated with escalators, what if malls and other buildings with escalators installed a barricade at the two ends, right in front of the handrails? Just something that doesn’t move easily, and is about ~3.5 feet high. Something shaped like cricket shin pads perhaps? While it won’t reduce risks due to collapsing of linked steps or landing sections, or wandering kids going up or down the escalator, it will prevent accidents due to handrails themselves.

It’s not just kids

Back in college, I was once hanging out with friends at a mall, when one of them, while talking to us and walking backwards near an escalator. He continued talking while unknowingly leaning back onto the escalator’s handrail at the top. Before we could even realize what was happening, the conveyor and handrail had managed to pick up my friend, and he was backwards, on his way down, atop the handrail. Thankfully we managed to pull him off at the top.

Obviously toddlers are not the only ones at risk with the handrails. Friction between rubber handrails and a person’s body or clothes creates considerable grip. And conveyors are powerful enough to lift even an overweight adult.

We users really need to be careful while on or around escalators. And it is high time manufacturers started thinking of ways to make escalators safer.