Should you have lights on during the day?

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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NEvans
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Should you have lights on during the day?

Postby NEvans » 15 Jan 2018, 9:38pm

A discussion has started in another topic which I feel deserves its own.

In my opinion lights on in the daytime has to be a good thing (as long as not stupidly bright). Someone against it is saying its training car drivers to look out for lights and not for cyclists.

I can see where they are coming from (no pun intended!). What's general thoughts?
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Re: Should you have lights on during the day?

Postby Bez » 15 Jan 2018, 9:52pm

How are you defining “should”?

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Re: Should you have lights on during the day?

Postby Samuel D » 15 Jan 2018, 9:54pm

The topic was debated at some length here a few months ago. I mention this in case you find it interesting, not to stymie another conversation. I stick by what I said there in the first page or two.

Why do you think daytime lamps have to be a good thing?

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gaz
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Re: Should you have lights on during the day?

Postby gaz » 15 Jan 2018, 9:59pm

It's training car drivers to look out for lights and not for cyclists, pedestrians or anything else that may be on the road without lights.

Numerous related threads here.
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Re: Should you have lights on during the day?

Postby Bez » 15 Jan 2018, 10:11pm

But, on a personal basis, do you nobly volunteer yourself as a conceivably sacrificial tool in the process of training drivers to look out for things without lights, or do you adopt what measures you perceive to be potentially effective in the interests of making it home in one piece?

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Re: Should you have lights on during the day?

Postby drossall » 15 Jan 2018, 10:27pm

As a driver, I'm really reluctant to run lights in day-time, owing to the implications for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. Obviously I do if it's actually so bad as to make them required in law, but I'm often among the last to turn them on and, if things improve, I turn them off again. I'll sometimes turn them on for motorways (where there are no pedestrians or cyclists) and off again as I return to "normal" roads.

As a cyclist, I'm still reluctant. It's not just about this ride; it's about whether I'll get knocked off, or run down as a pedestrian, in 20 years time by a motorist who was only looking for lights. Although road safety has improved, it's not clear to me that extra "visibility" measures for vulnerable road users have done anything more than raise the bar for what is required of them before going on the roads at all.

As an example of what I do in practice, I was out on an Audax on Saturday. It was dull, but I only turned on my lights as lighting-up time approached. To be fair, that was also when I turned onto a road where there were actually some motor vehicles, and a consideration was that I wasn't quite sure of the battery life I had available (turned out I had loads). Again, though, I always use lights at night. Today, I forgot my back light, and walked to a shop (good job it's the January sales!)

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Re: Should you have lights on during the day?

Postby gaz » 15 Jan 2018, 10:33pm

On a personal basis I don't feel that having lights on while cycling during the day will decrease my chances of being involved in a "looked but failed to see" collision.
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Re: Should you have lights on during the day?

Postby PDQ Mobile » 15 Jan 2018, 10:35pm

drossall wrote:As a driver, I'm really reluctant to run lights in day-time, owing to the implications for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.

Out of interest what are the safety implications of running on dipped headlights for pedestrians and cyclists?

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Re: Should you have lights on during the day?

Postby drossall » 15 Jan 2018, 10:47pm

The concerns I'm thinking about are:
  • the excess light makes it harder to see vulnerable road users, who cannot necessarily compete in the arms race
  • I'm contributing to the expectation that anything worth seeing has lights

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Re: Should you have lights on during the day?

Postby PDQ Mobile » 15 Jan 2018, 10:58pm

Hmm, it's all about one being seen.
Nothing else is important.


I am a rural driver, anything that helps be seen is good.IMV.
More important on a grey or green vehicle than a yellow one?

A great many vehicles have daytime running lights anyway?

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Re: Should you have lights on during the day?

Postby drossall » 15 Jan 2018, 11:23pm

Agreed that many vehicles have DRLs. There was a campaign against them, although I'm not sure how widespread or effective.

I'm not quite sure whether you're saying that your opinion is that all that matters is being seen. If so, the problem is that looking out only for oneself is the antithesis of the expectation underlying the Highway Code. In addition, in a cycling forum, we're bound to note that vulnerable road users always come off worse when that approach is used.

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Re: Should you have lights on during the day?

Postby PDQ Mobile » 15 Jan 2018, 11:32pm

I am only talking about motor vehicles.
I cycle without day lights generally; in some conditions I will use them.

But yes it is all about being seen.
Anything that helps another road user see an oncoming car is useful. Catch the eye.

The rural junction classic example.
It's not about bullying or "get out of my way" just being seen.
A great many rural accidents occur from overlooked vehicles on junctions and are often severe, side impact.
And yes vehicle colour is a very important factor.

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Re: Should you have lights on during the day?

Postby mjr » 15 Jan 2018, 11:41pm

Bez wrote:But, on a personal basis, do you nobly volunteer yourself as a conceivably sacrificial tool in the process of training drivers to look out for things without lights, or do you adopt what measures you perceive to be potentially effective in the interests of making it home in one piece?

That perception is incorrect in assuming that daytime lights reduce a cyclist's chance of being sacrificed. I'm fairly sure there's no robust evidence for that yet, despite all the noble fools sacrificing themselves on the altar of snake oil lights. The motoring evidence is rather selective and questionable for the UK, so I rarely use my car's DRLs either.

The main effect of adopting daytime lights is to hand motorists another get out of jail card saying "it's not my fault because they didn't have lights on". Is that really what good cyclists should do?
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Re: Should you have lights on during the day?

Postby mjr » 15 Jan 2018, 11:42pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:I am only talking about motor vehicles.
I cycle without day lights generally; in some conditions I will use them.

But yes it is all about being seen.
Anything that helps another road user see an oncoming car is useful. Catch the eye.

The rural junction classic example.
It's not about bullying or "get out of my way" just being seen.
A great many rural accidents occur from overlooked vehicles on junctions and are often severe, side impact.
And yes vehicle colour is a very important factor.

Why do you want other road users to see you if not to get out of your way?
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

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Re: Should you have lights on during the day?

Postby PDQ Mobile » 15 Jan 2018, 11:51pm

I want them to see me coming and not pull out where I have priority.
I want to help them see me.

And sometimes in poor light condition headlights can pick up reflectors etc.
Thus helping me be more aware.