Alan J. Horowitz
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
About the research
The Paddle Pal consists of a black plastic case and four arrays of three flashing LEDs, two red arrays on one side and two amber arrays on the other side. The Paddle Pal can be easily mounted on the handle of a flagger paddle and is intended as a way of increasing the visibility of a paddle. The Paddle Pal was evaluated in an outdoor, laboratory-like setting by 68 persons: employees of WisDOT and retired persons from the surrounding community. The weather was cold, overcast and foggy with visibilities as low as 0.25 miles. Evaluators were asked to make pair-wise choices between all combinations of four paddle configurations, of which three involved lights displayed 495 feet away. It was found that flaggers should use lighted paddles if low-visibility, daytime conditions are anticipated. The Paddle Pal is recommended over a standard paddle. The MUTCD should be modified to allow paddles lighted with LEDs, as these paddles perform better than standard paddles and at least one white-light paddle in low visibility, daytime conditions.
Vendor: Rick Watson Innovations