This paper addresses the relationship between vehicle conspicuity and probability of accident involvement. As used here, conspicuity refers not only to the “noticeability” of the vehicle, but also to the recognizability of the vehicle and its behavior relative to the observer. All classes of vehicles are considered during both day and night driving on all types of roadways.
Relevant vehicle, driver, and environmental characteristics are identified, and their frequency of occurrence and relationship to accidents (or pertinent proxies) discussed whenever such information is available. The bulk of the report is devoted to reviewing, summarizing, and integrating the available body of data concerning vehicle conspicuity, including engineering analyses and other analytic studies, as well as experimental data from laboratory, simulation and field studies.
The major output of this review and summary is the identification of: 1) the major problems associated with vehicle conspicuity, 2) mitigating concepts, including a discussion of how these concepts should be evaluated, and 3) considerations for future attention of the research community.