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Accid Anal Prev. 2014 Jan;62:230-7. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2013.09.026. Epub 2013 Oct 5.

Influence of front light configuration on the visual conspicuity of motorcycles.

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Laboratory of Driver Psychology (LPC), French Institute of Science and Technology for Transportation, Development and Networks, Versailles, France. Electronic address:


A recent study (Cavallo and Pinto, 2012) showed that daytime running lights (DRLs) on cars create "visual noise" that interferes with the lighting of motorcycles and affects their visual conspicuity. In the present experiment, we tested three conspicuity enhancements designed to improve motorcycle detectability in a car-DRL environment: a triangle configuration (a central headlight plus two lights located on the rearview mirrors), a helmet configuration (a light located on the motorcyclist's helmet in addition to the central headlight), and a single central yellow headlight. These three front-light configurations were evaluated in comparison to the standard configuration (a single central white headlight). Photographs representing complex urban traffic scenes were presented briefly (for 250ms). The results revealed better motorcycle-detection performance for both the yellow headlight and the helmet configuration than for the standard configuration. The findings suggest some avenues for defining a new visual signature for motorcycles in car-DRL environments.


Attention conspicuity; Daytime running lights (DRLs); Headlight ergonomics; Motorcycle safety; Visual conspicuity

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