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FHWA Home / Safety / Roadway Departure / Roadway Visibility Research Needs Assessment

Roadway Visibility Research Needs Assessment

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1. Introduction

This report focuses on a review of issues related to nighttime visibility and assessment of how the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Safety's three safety program areas—roadway departure safety, intersection safety, and pedestrian and bicycle safety—address concerns for nighttime visibility, as well as a review of fatality data and a gap analysis for research needs. Within the framework of the Office of Safety's focus areas (roadway departure safety, intersection safety, and pedestrian and bicycle safety), the researchers identified potential ways future research, advancing technologies, and changes to current practices may address nighttime visibility concerns from a perspective of highway design, traffic operations, and highway safety. The strategic narratives from the roadmaps for intersection safety and roadway departure safety were evaluated to identify the extent to which they address nighttime conditions and issues of visibility, retroreflectivity, and lighting. These strategic plans were updated in February 2015. Information about the pedestrian and bicycle safety program was obtained from the strategic plan with recommended research for pedestrian safety, updated in 2010. The Office of Safety's three program areas are described in detail on line (https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/).

In addition to the assessment of the three program areas, this task included a survey of practices and policies of highway design, traffic engineering, and highway safety that are based on daytime conditions and may neglect issues and concerns that arise from nighttime conditions. The topics identified are divided into the three safety program areas.

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Page last modified on April 5, 2017
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Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000