Modern cars in New Jersey and across the country are equipped with features meant to keep drivers and passengers safe should an accident occur. These features include airbag systems, automatic emergency brake systems and electronic stability controls. Though the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found that these safety features decrease accident deaths, more can be done to keep people safe. One simple solution is changing the color of the turn signal in vehicles.

Several studies done over the past decade have shown that cars with amber-colored turn signals are less likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident than those with red turn signals. A study done in 2008 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that vehicles with red turn signals are more likely to be rear-ended than those with amber lights. Another study by the same institute found that vehicles that switched their lights from red to orange decreased accident risk by 5.3%. Because 50% of all accidents that occur involve rear-hit vehicles, changing lights could significantly decrease the number of personal injuries each year.

Though no mandates regarding turn signal lights have been set, measures are being taken to encourage vehicle manufacturers to install amber lights. The agency is considering adding amber lights on vehicles as part of the criteria for a five-star safety rating. Experts estimate that the switch would cost less than $10 per vehicle and that the safety benefits would be well worth the money.

Being rear-ended in a car accident might result in severe injuries and lost wages due to time spent off work during recovery. Those involved in a motor vehicle accident may be able to file a civil suit to help recover monetary damages. A personal injury lawyer might be able to help. For example, a lawyer may be able to show that a driver wasn’t paying attention and failed to slow down for a turning vehicle. If negligence can be proven, the injured party might receive damages.