Effectiveness of Lighted Work Zone Apparel: Effects on VisibilityAuthor/Presenter: Bhagavathula, Rajaram; Kassing, Andrew; Gibbons, Ron; Medina, Alejandra
The goal of this study is to evaluate effectiveness of lighted work zone apparel under realistic conditions. More specifically, the goal is to compare the effectiveness of various kinds of lighted worker apparel (colors, flash patterns, lighted hard hat, etc.) to that of standard retroreflective material under varying visually cluttered conditions. In this study, the effects of worker apparel and scene clutter on driver visual performance were evaluated under realistic work zone conditions. Driver visual performance was measured indirectly using the detection distance of work zone workers as indicated by participants as they drove through the simulated work zone environment. The results of this study show that lighted worker vests and helmet-mounted lights plays a critical role in increasing the conspicuity of workers in active nighttime work zone environments with visually cluttered environments. Lighted work zone vests with white-colored LEDs paired with helmet-mounted LEDs (also white colored), either in flashing or in a steady-on condition, had the longest detection distances. Standard Class 3 retroreflective vests had the lowest detection distances among all the garments evaluated. When workers wore the lighted apparel with red and white LEDs without the lighted helmet, the detection distances were shorter than with the lighted helmet but longer than with the retroreflective vest alone. Based on these results, a combination of lighted garments along with a lighted helmet, preferably in a flashing pattern or steady-on, are recommended to increase the conspicuity of workers in active nighttime workzone environments.
Publication Date: 2022
Full Text URL: Link to URL
Publication Types: Books, Reports, Papers, and Research Articles
Topics: Driver Performance; High Visibility Clothing; Light; Measures of Effectiveness; Night; Night Visibility; Road Construction Workers; Visibility; Work Zones