Conference Proceeding

The Conspicuity Benefits of Bicycle Taillights in Daylight

  • Darlene E Edewaard (Clemson University)
  • Ellen C Szubski (Clemson University)
  • Richard A Tyrrell (Clemson University)
  • Andrew T Duchowski (Clemson University)


Bicyclists risk being injured or killed in crashes with motor vehicles, even during the daytime. Therefore, cyclists must help approaching drivers detect and recognize their presence. The present study examined the conspicuity benefits of bicycle taillights during the daytime. Participants’ eye movements were recorded as they searched for vulnerable road users in videos recorded from a driver’s perspective in a moving vehicle. Five of the videos contained a bicyclist who displayed one of five taillight configurations. The distance from which each participant first glanced at the bicyclist was recorded, as was the distance from which the participant pressed a button to indicate that a bicyclist was present. The results indicated that the participants first fixated on the bicyclist at a distance that was 2.7 times greater than the distance at which they responded to recognizing the bicyclist. Additionally, the bicyclist was recognized from significantly greater distances when using a flashing or steady seat post-mounted taillight than when no taillight was displayed. These findings confirm earlier research that bicycle taillights can enhance drivers’ ability to recognize bicyclists during daylight.

How to Cite:

Edewaard, D. & Szubski, E. & Tyrrell, R. & Duchowski, A., (2019) “The Conspicuity Benefits of Bicycle Taillights in Daylight”, Driving Assessment Conference 10(2019), 370-376. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2019 the author(s)

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Published on
27 Jun 2019
Peer Reviewed