Friday, September 27, 2013

Slow-moving-vehicle emblem is 50 years old

Fifty years ago Ohio State University Extension designed a logo that has become synonymous with safety on rural American roads. The slow-moving-vehicle emblem, that now-familiar orange triangle warning drivers to the rear, was created in 1963 after a 10-year study by OSU's Department of Agricultural Engineering  and the Ohio State Highway Patrol to understand the nature and causes of highway tractor collisions, according to information from the college. Research found that a number of fatalities were related to highway travel of slow moving vehicles, and 65 percent involved slow-moving vehicles being rear-ended. (Read more) (University of Missouri Extension photo by Emily Kaiser)

The original design was created by engineers and students, Dave Russell reports for Brownfield. Dee Jepsen, state safety lead for OSU Extension, told Russell, "They had circles and squares and triangles and hexagons, but it turns out, as we all know, the answer it’s now a triangle," which was determined by putting various shapes on campus and measuring the recognition levels and distances of walking students.

"The big changes that have occurred to that symbol over the years is the technology in the reflective material and the fluorescent," Jepsen said. "Because we know fluorescent is good by daytime driving, that’s really all you need to catch your eye and the red reflective border then is what you see at night, which makes that hollow symbol standout when the headlights hit it." For the story and a 3:40 audio clip, click here. For tips on proper use of the symbol, go here.

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