Enhanced rear lighting and signalling systems: literature review and analyses of alternative system concepts

  • Published: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); Report number DOT HS 809 425, 2002
  • Authors: Lee S E, Wierwille W W and Klauer S G
  • Date Added: 25 Jan 2014
  • Last Update: 25 Jan 2014
  • Format: pdf


To develop and test a small number of enhanced rear-lighting concepts that have the potential to reduce the number of rear-end collisions.


An expert panel consisting of twelve rear-lighting experts was assembled. The trade study was conducted electronically (email) via a series of three questionnaires. This process resulted in the recommendation of three rear-lighting configurations for further refinement.

Key Findings:

  • A set of enhanced rear-lighting concepts were developed after reviewing a variety of sources including literature, patent searches, and ideas provided by the expert panel, although the majority were a result of in-house concept generation.

  • Each concept was developed to include a description, a justification, implementation details, activation criteria, deactivation criteria, and a graphic representation. In all, eight concepts were developed,


Rear lighting, brake lights, rear-end crashes, rear signalling, focus groups, subject matter experts, trade study


Unclear how the concepts were taken forward from this report. Presumably this was not the final output from the project.