Enhanced Rear Signaling (ERS) for Heavy Trucks: Phase III – Development of Field Operational Test


The Enhanced Rear Signaling (ERS) for Heavy Trucks project was directed at investigating methods to reduce or mitigate those crashes where a heavy truck has been struck in the rear by another vehicle. Prior to the current effort, two phases of work had been completed on this project. The purpose of the current effort, Phase III, focused on exploring the benefits of the countermeasures developed in previous phases, and to develop a plan for a large scale Field Operational Test (FOT). During crash database analyses in the current project it was found that, in 2006, there were approximately 23,500 rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks which resulted in 135 fatalities and 1603 incapacitating injuries. Many different types of ERSs were investigated in this study across both the auditory and visual modalities. Visual warning signals were found to be the most beneficial at signaling following-vehicle drivers (more specifically rear warning-light configurations). The research team recommended that one specific configuration be selected for real-world data collection based on its high performance and the potential success of future design implementation. Overall, the final radar-based cautionary ERS system was robust in real-world driving conditions and is recommended for an FOT.



CMV, commercial motor vehicle, heavy truck, rear-end crash, rear signaling