i-4 Ultimate

May 2022

* LED Lights Improve Safety and Save Energy on I-4 Ultimate
* May Is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
* National Secure Your Load Day
* Boone Avenue Extension Improves Downtown Orlando Connectivity

LED Lights Improve Safety and Save Energy on I-4 Ultimate


If you have noticed better illumination on Interstate 4 (I-4) when driving at night, it may be because the Florida Department of Transportation has installed 2,519 new LED highway lights within the I-4 Ultimate corridor. The use of LED lighting on I-4 Ultimate is part of a larger effort by FDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to lower the number of deaths and injuries that occur during nighttime driving.

LEDs can produce a specific color and warmth that improve drivers’ nighttime vision. That increases the safety of everyone on the interstate. At intersections, the LEDs also help pedestrians, bicyclists, runners, and wheelchair users.

LED lights have many benefits. The lights provide a steady level of illumination across roadways and intersections. Using 75 percent less energy and lasting up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent lights, the new lights are more cost effective. LED lights also operate at a cooler temperature with less energy waste burning off as heat.

In addition to using LEDs along I-4 Ultimate in Central Florida, FDOT has installed LEDs in more than 2,500 intersections throughout the state as part of FWHA’s national effort.

Indeed, the project has gone so well in the Sunshine State that FHWA labeled it a “Proven Safety Countermeasure.” The federal agency notes that improved lighting can lead to reductions of:

  • 42 percent for nighttime injury pedestrian crashes at intersections.
  • 33-38 percent for nighttime crashes at rural and urban intersections.
  • 28 percent for nighttime injury crashes on rural and urban highways.

Although the number of miles driven at night is just 25 percent of the total, the fatality rate is three times higher at night, due in part to a lack of proper lighting.

For more information, you can view a short video about the project.


May Is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month


The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) observes May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. It is important to educate both motorcyclists and motorists because motorcycle safety depends on the cooperation of all the vehicles that share the roadway.

Riding a motorcycle presents unique risks compared to passenger vehicles. They do not have the protection of an enclosed vehicle and are less stable when performing maneuvers such as braking and swerving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2019, there were 8,895 motorcycle crashes resulting in 550 deaths. Half of those who died were not wearing helmets. Motorcyclists can do a few simple things to improve roadway safety:

  • Wear a helmet. According to NHTSA, wearing a helmet reduces the risk of a crash being fatal by 37 percent. Florida law requires a helmet for all riders under 21 and riders who are not covered by an insurance policy with at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries incurred while riding a motorcycle.
  • Wear eye protection. It is required when riding.
  • Make sure your equipment meets all the requirements, including brakes on the front and back wheels, handlebars with the proper height, mirrors, and headlights. For a complete list, visit RideSmartFlorida.

The FDOT recommends that drivers of passenger vehicles:

  • Always check blind spots before changing lanes and double-check intersections before turning or pulling out.
  • Give a full lane to a motorcycle when passing.
  • Yield the right-of-way to motorcyclists.
  • Always allow for more following distance when behind a motorcycle. A motorcyclist may take longer to brake.

National Secure Your Load Day


National Secure Your Load Day on June 6 raises awareness of the importance of securing your load in a vehicle or trailer. This nationally recognized traffic safety observance day was established due to Robin Abel’s advocacy after her daughter, Maria, was severely injured by debris from an unsecured load colliding with her vehicle.

Maria’s life-altering incident is not an isolated occurrence. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported that road debris caused more than 200,000 collisions in a four-year period. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, unsecured loads caused 440 deaths, 10,000 injuries, and 51,000 incidents in a single year. Abel encourages drivers to secure their load as if everyone you love is driving in the car behind you.

The Florida Highway Patrol offers the following tips to properly secure cargo:

  • Tie the cargo and other loose items down with a securement device such as rope or straps that have adequate strength to secure the item.
  • Ensure securement devices prevent longitudinal, lateral, and vertical movement.
  • Cover the entire load with a sturdy tarp or netting.
  • Make sure never to overload a vehicle or trailer.
  • Routinely double-check to ensure cargo has not vibrated loose from securing devices throughout the trip.

When securing cargo, ask yourself: Would you feel safe driving behind your vehicle? What would happen to your cargo if you suddenly braked, hit a bump, or were struck by another vehicle?


Boone Avenue Extension Improves Downtown Orlando Connectivity

Click on image above to view video.

The downtown Orlando Boone Avenue extension is open. On April 26 the ribbon was cut, and the extension became available for drivers to use.

The new extension connects Anderson Street to Sylvia Lane and improves access to downtown from Hughey Avenue, Gore Street, and the greater SoDo area.

The newly built stretch of road offers northbound travelers on Sylvia Lane a route to the City Commons Parking Garage and other downtown destinations.

Additionally, the reconfigured interchange provides a dedicated turning lane on eastbound Anderson Street, allowing motorists to turn south, relieving congestion at the intersection of Orange Avenue.

This extension of Boone Avenue was made possible by the reconfiguration of Interstate 4 (I-4) and State Road (S.R.) 408 interchange as part of the I-4 Ultimate Project.