Impacts of Fog Characteristics, Forward Illumination, and Warning Beacon Intensity Distribution on Roadway Hazard VisibilityAuthor/Presenter: Bullough, John D.; Rea, Mark S.
Warning beacons are critical for the safety of transportation, construction, and utility workers. These devices need to produce sufficient luminous intensity to be visible without creating glare to drivers. Published standards for the photometric performance of warning beacons do not address their performance in conditions of reduced visibility such as fog. Under such conditions light emitted in directions other than toward approaching drivers can create scattered light that makes workers and other hazards less visible. Simulations of visibility of hazards under varying conditions of fog density, forward vehicle lighting, warning beacon luminous intensity, and intensity distribution were performed to assess their impacts on visual performance by drivers. Each of these factors can influence the ability of drivers to detect and identify workers and hazards along the roadway in work zones. Based on the results, it would be reasonable to specify maximum limits on the luminous intensity of warning beacons in directions that are unlikely to be seen by drivers along the roadway, limits which are not included in published performance specifications.