Horse Hauler Caution Advised at Icy Intersections

Have you noticed that some traffic signals are looking a little different these days? What you're seeing is the effort to save money and energy. Cities across the United States are replacing their incandescent traffic lights with energy-efficient light emitting diodes (LEDs).

While these new lights are brighter, last much longer, and save a lot of energy, it's also becoming evident that they have a hazardous downside. The bulbs burn so coolly that snow and ice don't melt. Instead, they can accumulate on the light, obscuring it completely. This problem has been blamed for dozens of accidents across the country.

Authorities are testing several solutions, including weather shields and heating elements. Until a solution is found, USRider reminds all drivers, but especially those trailering horses, to be extra cautious at intersections during inclement weather.

USRider, a nationwide roadside assistance program for equestrians, provides emergency road service to its members in 48 states as well as Canada and Alaska.

"Although you may clearly see that you have a green light, and therefore the right-of-way, a driver coming from another direction might not see a light that's covered with ice and snow and could very likely not be preparing to stop, so be extra cautious at intersections during winter driving conditions," advised Mark Cole, managing member for USRider.

Remember, if you can't see a traffic light, treat it like a stop sign.

For additional safety tips, visit the Equine Travel Safety Area on the USRider Web site.

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