More than half all pedestrian fatalities occur at night. To address this problem, in the 1950s through 1970s Blackwell conducted considerable research that showed that a way to account for the limitations related to drivers’ expectancies at night would be to limit a driver’s time to view the forward roadway. The reduced information during the limited exposure time became a surrogate for the limited information available to on-road drivers at night. With the release of the SHRP-2 naturalistic database, we are able to see how drivers responded to in-road obstacles at night such as animals, bicyclists, pedestrians, and tree limbs. Using the naturalistic response data as a baseline, safe closed road recognition methodology was developed. The closed road study built upon the early nighttime recognition work by Blackwell, the observers were allowed to view the forward roadway for 1 or ¼ second. The results show that reducing the time of exposure could be used as a surrogate that accounts for the reduced information associated with unexpected events. When allowed to view the forward roadway for a full 1-second, drivers recognized deer, small animals, and pedestrians much earlier than when allowed to look forward only ¼ second. Also, the probability of recognition of the obstacles and the recognition distances after the ¼ second observation time were statistically similar to those of the naturalistic drivers in the SHRP-2 data. How this methodology might be used to measure hazard anticipation and recognition of groups such as novice and distracted drivers was addressed.