Ultraviolet (UVA) headlights are potentially a cost-effective way of reducing nighttime motor vehicle crashes and pedestrian crashes. A field study comparing UVA headlights to standard low beam headlights found significant improvements in detection and recognition distances for pedestrian scenarios, ranging from 34% to 117%. A cost analysis of using UVA headlights, along with fluorescent roadway paint, found that a 19.5% reduction in nighttime motor vehicle crashes involving pedestrians or pedal-cyclists will pay for the additional UVA headlight costs if headlights cost $100. Alternatively, given the same assumption, a 5.5% reduction in all relevant nighttime crashes will pay for the additional costs of UVA headlights and fluorescent highway paint combined. If the increased detection and recognition distances resulting from using UVA-fluorescent technology observed in this field study moderately reduce relevant crashes, the benefit cost ratios will exceed 1.0. Thus, the UVA-flourescent technology is potentially cost-effective and merits further consideration.
Keywords: Benefit-Cost; Crash; Effectiveness; Fluorescent; Headlight(s); Injury; Ultraviolet