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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-04-142
Date: December 2005

Enhanced Night Visibility Series, Volume XI: Phase II—Cost-Benefit Analysis

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U.S. Department of Transportation

Federal Highway Administration

Research, Development, and Technology

Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center

6300 Georgetown Pike

McLean, VA 22101-2296


FOREWORD

The overall goal of the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Visibility Research Program is to enhance the safety of road users through near-term improvements of the visibility on and along the roadway. The program also promotes the advancement of new practices and technologies to improve visibility on a cost-effective basis.

The following document provides a cost-benefit analysis of the various technologies evaluated in the Enhanced Night Visibility (ENV) project. The ENV project provided a comprehensive evaluation of evolving and proposed headlamp technologies in various weather conditions. The individual studies within the overall project are documented in an 18-volume series of FHWA reports, of which this is Volume XI. It is anticipated that the reader will select those volumes that provide information of specific interest.

This report will be of interest to headlamp designers, automobile manufacturers and consumers, third-party headlamp manufacturers, human factors engineers, and those involved in headlamp and roadway specifications.



 

Michael F. Trentacoste
Director, Office of Safety
    Research and Development

Notice

This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.
FHWA-HRT-04-142

2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient’s Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle
Enhanced Night Visibility Series, Volume XI: Phase II—Cost-Benefit Analysis

5. Report Date
December 2005

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Author(s)
James S. Gillespie

8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address
Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
3500 Transportation Research Plaza
Blacksburg, VA 24061

10. Work Unit No.

11. Contract or Grant No.
DTFH61-98-C-00049

12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
Office of Safety Research and Development
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296

13. Type of Report and Period Covered
Final Report

14. Sponsoring Agency Code
HRDS-05

15. Supplementary Notes
Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative (COTR): Carl Andersen, HRDS-05

16. Abstract
This volume of the Enhanced Night Visibility project is a cost-benefit analysis of the vision enhancement system (VES) and roadway marking technologies evaluated in the Phase II experiments of the Enhanced Night Visibility project. The cost-benefit analysis indicates that neither the ultraviolet-A (UV–A) headlamp nor the fluorescent pavement marking technologies are fully developed for implementation. Under the conditions simulated in the Virginia Smart Road tests, most of the combinations of experimental VESs and experimental marking materials show no net improvement in sight distance in comparison to the combination of halogen (i.e., tungsten-halogen) low-beam headlamps and a nonfluorescent pavement marking.

The best-performing VES configurations were the halogen low beam (HLB) and five UV–A + HLB. HLB serves as the benchmark, with both its estimated crash reduction benefit and its incremental cost defined to be zero. The slight overall benefit of five UV–A + HLB over HLB would lead to a positive crash savings, but its cost of implementation would result in a cost-benefit ratio of 0.001 and in negative net benefits of less than zero.

Among the pavement markings tested, the fluorescent paint generally performed worse than the fluorescent thermoplastic. Neither of the tested fluorescent pavement markings is forecast to generate positive benefits in comparison with the performance of the nonfluorescent pavement marking.


17. Key Words
Crash, Automobile, Benefit, Cost, Cost-Benefit Model, Detection, Fluorescent, Halogen, Headlamp, Night Vision, Nighttime, Road Marking, Ultraviolet, Visibility, Vision Enhancement System

18. Distribution Statement
No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.

19. Security Classif. (of this report)
Unclassified

20. Security Classif. (of this page)
Unclassified

21. No. of Pages
52

22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72)          Reproduction of completed page authorized


SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors


ENHANCED NIGHT VISIBILITY PROJECT REPORT SERIES

This volume is the 11th of 18 volumes in this research report series. Each volume is a different study or summary, and any reference to a report volume in this series will be referenced in the text as “ENV Volume I,” “ENV Volume II,” and so forth. A list of the report volumes follows:

Volume Title Report Number
  I           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Executive Summary FHWA-HRT-04-132
  II           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Overview of Phase I and
Development of Phase II Experimental Plan
FHWA-HRT-04-133
  III           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase II—Study 1: Visual
Performance During Nighttime Driving in Clear Weather
FHWA-HRT-04-134
  IV           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase II—Study 2: Visual
Performance During Nighttime Driving in Rain
FHWA-HRT-04-135
  V           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase II—Study 3: Visual
Performance During Nighttime Driving in Snow
FHWA-HRT-04-136
  VI           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase II—Study 4: Visual
Performance During Nighttime Driving in Fog
FHWA-HRT-04-137
  VII           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase II—Study 5: Evaluation of
Discomfort Glare During Nighttime Driving in Clear Weather
FHWA-HRT-04-138
  VIII           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase II—Study 6: Detection of
Pavement Markings During Nighttime Driving in Clear Weather
FHWA-HRT-04-139
  IX           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase II—Characterization of
Experimental Objects
FHWA-HRT-04-140
  X           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase II—Visual Performance
Simulation Software for Objects and Traffic Control Devices
FHWA-HRT-04-141
  XI           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase II—Cost-Benefit Analysis FHWA-HRT-04-142
  XII           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Overview of Phase II and
Development of Phase III Experimental Plan
FHWA-HRT-04-143
  XIII           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase III—Study 1: Comparison
of Near Infrared, Far Infrared, High Intensity Discharge, and Halogen Headlamps on Object Detection in Nighttime Clear Weather
FHWA-HRT-04-144
  XIV           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase III—Study 2: Comparison
of Near Infrared, Far Infrared, and Halogen Headlamps on Object Detection in Nighttime Rain
FHWA-HRT-04-145
  XV           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase III—Study 3: Influence of
Beam Characteristics on Discomfort and Disability Glare
FHWA-HRT-04-146
  XVI           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phase III—Characterization of
Experimental Objects
FHWA-HRT-04-147
  XVII           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Phases II and III—
Characterization of Experimental Vision Enhancement Systems
FHWA-HRT-04-148
  XVIII           Enhanced Night Visibility Series: Overview of Phase III FHWA-HRT-04-149

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1—SUMMARY

CHAPTER 2—LITERATURE REVIEW AND METHODOLOGY

CHAPTER 3—COST ESTIMATION

CHAPTER 4—BENEFIT ESTIMATION

CHAPTER 5—FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

REFERENCES

LIST OF FIGURES

  1. Equation. Stopping distance model.
  2. Equation. Crash modification factor.
  3. Equation. Cost computation.
  4. Line graph. Motor vehicle registrations 1990 through 1998.
  5. Line graph. Centerline miles for highways from 1990 through 1998.
  6. Line graph. Lane miles of rural highway 1990 through 1998.
  7. Bar graph. Number of crashes, 1992 through 2001, by light condition.
  8. Bar graph. Number of crashes, 1992 through 2001, by weather condition.
  9. Line graph. GES estimates versus regression estimates of crashes, 1992 through 2001.
  10. Bar graph. Estimated number of people involved in crashes, 1999 through 2001, by critical event and severity of injury.
  11. Bar graph. Estimated number of people injured in crashes, 1999 through 2001, by critical event and severity of injury.
  12. Bar graph. Estimated number of vehicles involved in crashes, 1999 through 2001, by critical event and severity of damage.
  13. Bar graph. Estimated annual crash costs, 1999 through 2001, by critical event.

LIST OF TABLES

  1. The relationship between sight distance and crash rate.
  2. Estimated service lives of pavement marking materials and delineator posts.
  3. Unit costs of fluorescent thermoplastic.
  4. Unit costs of fluorescent paint.
  5. Unit costs of fluorescent glass beads.
  6. Unit costs of fluorescent delineator.
  7. Unit costs of polyurea binder.
  8. Unit costs of conventional thermoplastic.
  9. Unit costs of conventional paint.
  10. Unit costs of conventional glass beads.
  11. Unit costs of standard delineator.
  12. Crash casualty costs: injury.
  13. Crash casualty costs: damage.
  14. Incremental cost of VESs using HLB benchmark.
  15. Incremental cost of pavement marking systems with nonfluorescent paint baseline.
  16. Annualized incremental costs of each possible VES/pavement marking combination.
  17. Estimated average annual crash costs 1999 to 2001 by critical event and light condition.
  18. Break-even reduction in unlighted night crash costs for VES/pavement marking combinations.
  19. Break-even percentage reduction in unlighted night, dawn, and dusk crash costs for VES/pavement marking combinations.
  20. Incremental cost of VESs using HLB and conventional paint markings benchmark.
  21. Incremental cost of pavement marking systems using nonfluorescent paint benchmark.
  22. Incremental present discounted costs of possible VES/pavement marking combinations over 20-year implementation.

LIST OF ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS

 

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