European Side-markers Effect on Traffic Safety 1999-01-0091
In 1993 new European legislation regarding side-markers for passenger cars became effective.
Volvo requested the TNO-Human Factors Research Institute (HFRI) to investigate the possible safety benefit of this European side-markers configuration. A test panel at TNO- HFRI was used to determine the difference in response time and detection error of drivers, confronted with slides of vehicles with and without the mentioned new vehicle side-marker configuration in several visibility conditions, crossing illumination and different vehicle approach angles. The investigation showed a significant faster vehicle recognition with less detection errors in case the approaching car was equipped with the bright amber side-markers. This improved vehicle conspicuity can be a benefit in crash avoidance, especially when the driver approaches a crossing with complex light environment and reduced visibility.
Allowing the bright amber European side-markers in US legislation could be the start of better crash avoidance worldwide.