The Effects of Retroreflective Conspicuity Tape on Motorcycle Detection Distance among Car Drivers
Keywords:Motorcycle, conspicuity, visibility, motorcycle safety, retroreflective tape
This study was carried out to determine whether or not retroreflective conspicuity tapes installed onto the side of a motorcycle would improve its night-time visibility, in terms of detection distance by car drivers and other motorists. In total, 32 configurations were tested to suit the motorcycle conspicuity related issues on Malaysian roads. The configurations included the presence of reflective tapes on the test motorcycle, the motorcycle head- and tail-light status, location of roadways (urban or rural), types of road and junction, and road condition. The motorcycle detection distance as indicated by the study participants were then recorded during an experiment performed in a controlled condition; under the supervision of trained technical staffs. On average, the findings gave a motorcycle detection distance of 44 meters as the baseline for motorcycles ridden without lights and conspicuity tapes installed. In relative terms, lights or reflective tapes increased the detection distance by about 60% as compared to the baseline condition of no conspicuity. When the lights and reflective tapes were combined, the average detection distance was 86 meters, an increase of 95% as compared to the baseline. Further analysis of the results showed that the conspicuity tapes complemented the motorcycle lights. In general, motorcycles with conspicuity tapes could be detected from a further distance in almost every configuration and driving situation as compared to motorcycles without the tapes. In conclusion, proper use of retroreflective conspicuity tapes on a motorcycle can increase its visibility, assist in reducing night-time related crashes and eventually help save lives.
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