Dousing a Burn: Evidence Shows Steady Warning Light is IneffectiveAuthor/Presenter: Gates, Timothy J.; Savolainen, Peter T.; Datta, Tapan K.; Nannapaneni, Prasad
Work zone channelization devices provide invaluable information to motorists on what to expect ahead. Even though the majority of construction work is done during the day, the work zone channelization devices are often still in place and can prove hazardous to motorists who are unaware. This article describes a research that was undertaken to explore the safety-related impacts associated with the use of steady-burn warning lights on channelizing drums considering a variety of work-zone scenarios utilized in Michigan. The research shows that steady-burn warning lights demonstrate no substantive value to nighttime driver behavior or nighttime brightness when used on channelizing drums in work zones. It is recommended that the use of steady-burn warning lights on work-zone drums be discontinued. If additional nighttime brightness of the channelizing devices is desired, the use of high-intensity sheeting on the drums is recommended because it provides far greater increases in brightness than the addition of a steady-burn warning light.