Use and Worker Perceptions of Wearable Lighted Apparel

During recent years, there has been significant development in lighted apparel. Advances in solid-state lighting and battery technology have allowed for lightweight and flexible applications with the potential to increase visibility and provide the wearer with task lighting. Lighted apparel can also provide signaling and notification to a worker who might be outside of the boundary of a work zone or have the possibility of being endangered by an encroaching vehicle. However, the effectiveness of these technologies has not been fully characterized. For example, the visibility improvements resulting from lighted apparel may be effective in one instance and not in another based on the presence of other lighting in the work area. Lighted apparel might also be heavier and less flexible than traditional clothing, potentially limiting the user or causing significant fatigue. These aspects of lighted apparel need to be measured to truly establish a usage recommendation for Virginia work zones. The purpose of this project is to develop a recommendation for the use of lighted apparel in a variety of application cases, including Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) road workers and operational personnel. The developed recommendations depend on the answers to the following questions: (1) What is the optimal apparel specification for increasing worker visibility while maintaining or reducing user risk and user fatigue? (2) What are the apparel usage priorities based on the type of activity being performed? (3) How do workers perceive and accept the technology? (4) What are the barriers to usage, including issues related to apparel durability and usability?


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $350000
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Virginia Transportation Research Council

      530 Edgemont Road
      Charlottesville, VA  United States  22903
    • Managing Organizations:

      Virginia Transportation Research Council

      530 Edgemont Road
      Charlottesville, VA  United States  22903
    • Project Managers:

      Cottrell, Benjamin

    • Performing Organizations:

      Virginia Tech Transportation Institute

      3500 Transportation Research Plaza
      Blacksburg, Virginia  United States  24061
    • Principal Investigators:

      Gibbons, Ronald

    • Start Date: 20240701
    • Expected Completion Date: 20260831
    • Actual Completion Date: 0

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01921228
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Virginia Department of Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: 125841
    • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: Jun 11 2024 7:38AM