Recognisability of different configurations of front lights on motorcycles

Accid Anal Prev. 2012 Jan;44(1):82-7. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2010.12.004. Epub 2010 Dec 28.


One often discussed reason for motorcyclists' high risk of accidents is that they are less conspicuous to other road users than are other motorised vehicles. The present paper aims to identify a front signal pattern created by additional light sources that would make motorcycles clearly and quickly distinguishable from other vehicles, and that would therefore facilitate localisation and identification of motorcycles. Results of a laboratory experiment have shown that motorcycles with a T-shaped light configuration are more quickly identified, particularly when the motorcycles are in visual competition with other motorised road users. Furthermore, analysis of gaze behavior showed that they were faster fixated by the subjects in the experiment, and the mean duration of fixations was shorter. The practical implications of this experiment and the need for further research are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Fixation, Ocular
  • Humans
  • Lighting*
  • Male
  • Motorcycles*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual*
  • Safety