Brake reaction time to center high-mounted stop lamps on vans and trucks

A. J. McKnight, D. Shinar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Center high-mounted stop lamps (CHMSLs) have been standard equipment on passenger cars in the United States since September 1, 1985. This study investigated the potential benefit of extending the CHMSL to heavier vehicles by measuring the savings in brake reaction time. In an experimental field study of over 1000 trials, CHMSLs were installed on a pickup truck, a full truck, a cargo van, and a minivan. The brake reaction times of drivers following these vehicles with and without CHMSLs were measured. Activation of the CHMSL in tandem with the standard brake lights had a small but statistically significant effect on the brake response time of the drivers in following vehicles. No statistically significant differences in CHMSL effect were observed among the four test vehicles. This effect was similar in magnitude to the effect of a CHMSL in a passenger vehicle when measured under the same conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-213
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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