Investigation of flashing and intensity characteristics for vehicle-mounted warning beacons

Kristin Kersavage, Nicholas P. Skinner, John D. Bullough, Philip M. Garvey, Eric T. Donnell, Mark S. Rea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Reducing the potential for crashes involving front line service workers and passing vehicles is important for increasing worker safety in work zones and similar locations. Flashing yellow warning beacons are often used to protect, delineate, and provide visual information to drivers within and approaching work zones. A nighttime field study using simulated workers, with and without reflective vests, present outside trucks was conducted to evaluate the effects of different warning beacon intensities and flash frequencies. Interactions between intensity and flash frequency were also analyzed. This study determined that intensitiesof 25/2.5 cd and 150/15 cd (peak/trough intensity) provided the farthest detection distances of the simulated worker. Mean detection distances in response to a flash frequency of 1 Hz were not statistically different from those in response to 4 Hz flashing. Simulated workers wearing reflective vests were seen the farthest distances away from the trucks for all combinations of intensity and flash frequency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
StatePublished - Oct 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Law
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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