Drivers' decisions to turn across the path of a motorcycle with low beam headlights

Michael Lenne, Paraskevi Mitsopoulos-Rubens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Crashes involving a passenger car and a motorcycle, where the car is turning across the path of the motorcycle, are a major crash type of motorcycle riders. The incidence of such crashes could be reduced through improvements in motorcycle conspicuity. Operation of low-beam headlights on motorcycles has been discussed as one approach for improving the “sensory conspicuity” of motorcycles during daylight hours. Forty-three experienced drivers completed a series of trials in a driving simulator where their task in each trial was to turn ahead of an oncoming vehicle if they felt that they had sufficient room to do so safely. A key manipulation across trials was whether the oncoming vehicle was a motorcycle with headlights on, or a motorcycle with headlights off. Time gap (short, medium, long) was also manipulated. At short time gaps low-beam headlights may confer some benefit in gap acceptance by encouraging drivers to accept fewer gaps ahead of a motorcycle with headlights on than ahead of a motorcycle with headlights off. No statistically significant differences in gap acceptance between the headlight conditions were found at either the medium or long time gaps. Overall the present research provides support for the use of low-beam headlights as a tool through which to augment the conspicuity of motorcycles. It is proposed that further research aim to explore directly the precise mechanisms underlying the observed effects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 55th Annual Meeting - 2011
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventInternational Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 2011 - Las Vegas, United States of America
Duration: 19 Sep 201123 Sep 2011
Conference number: 55th

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
ISSN (Print)2169-5067
ISSN (Electronic)1071-1813


ConferenceInternational Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 2011
Abbreviated titleHFES 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
CityLas Vegas

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