Title

VISIBILITY OF ROAD MARKINGS AS A FUNCTION OF AGE, RETROREFLECTIVITY UNDER LOW-BEAM AND HIGH-BEAM ILLUMINATION AT NIGHT

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1999

Subject Area

place - asia

Keywords

Yellow, Whites, Visibility distance, Visibility, Site distance, Road marking tapes, Retroreflectivity, Night, Low beamed headlamps, Human subject testing, High beamed headlamps, Edge markings, Edge lines, Conspicuity, Centerlines, Center lines, Caucasians, Age

Abstract

A study was conducted to obtain visibility data for old and young subjects performing a pavement marking end detection task on a fully marked road under headlamp illumination conditions. A total of 20 healthy subjects (10 old and 10 young) were used. It was found that observer age had a highly significant effect on pavement marking visibility. The effect of headlamp illumination (high-beam versus low-beam) was found to be rather weak, probably because of the low-beam headlamp pattern, which favors the right-edge line. Pavement marking retroreflectivity was found to be significant at the levels investigated in the experiment. The new yellow dashed centerlines (tape) with a gap-to-stripe ratio of 9.1/3 had a retroreflectivity of R sub L = 222 mcd/sq m/lx and R sub L = 399 mcd/sq m/lx under the medium and high conditions, respectively. The new white edge lines (tape) had a retroreflectivity of R sub L = 268 mcd/sq m/lx and R sub L = 706 mcd/sq m/lx under the medium and high conditions, respectively. The average end detection distances ranging from 124.8 m (average preview time 5.1 s for 88.5 km/h) for the old group under low-beam illumination on the medium retroreflectivity road to 237.3 m (average preview time 9.7 s for 88.5 km/h) for the young group under high-beam illumination on the high retroreflectivity road may appear to be rather long. However, the reader should be aware that markings as bright as the ones used in this research are the exception instead of the rule in real-world driving situations. The aim of this study was to determine the end detection distances obtainable under fairly favorable pavement marking material conditions.