July 27, 2016 16:30 - 18:00

How can we improve the car drivers perception of motorcycles motion?

[Speaker] Cavallo, Viola E:1
[Co-author] Espié, Stéphane:1, Vienne, Fabrice:1
1:Ifsttar (France)

Many motorcycle accidents at intersections are caused by other vehicle drivers who misperceive the speed and time-to-arrival of the approaching motorcycle. The present experiment tested different motorcycle headlight configurations likely to counteract this perceptual failure. Car drivers on a driving simulator turned left in front of cars and MCs approaching an intersection at nighttime conditions. The motorcycles were equipped with either a central "standard" light, three additional lights on the helmet and the fork ("vertical"), or four additional lights on the motorcyclist jacket's shoulders and the fork ("vertical shoulders"). The results showed that the "standard" light afforded significantly shorter accepted gaps (and thus shorter safety margins) than the other configurations and the car. The "vertical" configuration afforded the same gaps as the car. The "vertical shoulder" configuration also provided a significant advantage. These findings demonstrate that motorcycle safety can be improved by headlight ergonomics that accentuate the motorcycle's vertical dimension.
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