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Highway hues: forget the blues.

Fluorescent yellow and orange should be the highway designer's colors of choice for catching a driver's eye, according to two engineers from Ohio University in Athens.

Helmut T. Zwahlen and Uma D. Vel tested detection and color recognition of four fluorescent and six nonfluorescent, 12-by-6 inch targets, which they placed in full sunlight against backgrounds representing fall colors, spring foliage or a typical city. They flashed the target 20, 30 and 40 degrees to the right of the line of sight of a dozen volunteer "drivers," who noted the colors they saw.

The volunteers detected fluorescent yellow best and recognized fluorescent orange more readily than other colors, Zwahlen and Vel report. The results indicate that drivers glancing to the side see the fluorescent colors must better than their nonfluorescent counterparts.
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Author:Pennisi, Elizabeth
Publication:Science News
Date:Jan 25, 1992
Words:130
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