Daytime lights

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
roubaixtuesday
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Re: Daytime lights

Postby roubaixtuesday » 18 Sep 2019, 1:40pm

pjclinch wrote:(This is all connected to why, whenever reasonably possible, eye contact is a key point in negotiating your space on the road with drivers, though that's a bit of a moot point wondering if the person zooming round the blind bend will see you in time)

Pete.


I agree eye contact is a good thing. But it's remarkable how even with it you can still be endangered.

I was T-boned years ago by a driver from a side road I thought I'd established eye contact with- he was turning right onto the main road I was on. It was a sunny morning, I'm 6'4 and was wearing a bright purple top. I've no idea why he accelerated straight at me; I think he was so focussed on getting across the road as fast as possible he registered me briefly but then went to "isthereacaristhereacaristhereacar" in his head.

Just yesterday I was going straight on at a roundabout and a driver in a Range Rover went straight over from the left at some speed. She'd have killed me if I hadn't done an emergency stop. She stared right at me as she drove. I think her brain just registered "insignificant pleb who doesn't matter to me and will get out of my way"

I like daytime lights when it's raining, foggy, or low sun. I've no idea if they make me safer, but they make me feel safer, which helps my mental well being. I'm deeply sceptical that my using them makes other cyclists not using them less safe, which is often argued.

Bmblbzzz
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Re: Daytime lights

Postby Bmblbzzz » 18 Sep 2019, 2:18pm

kwackers wrote:
ian s wrote:I entirely agree; I dislike lights on in broad daylight as well. The number of time I see people riding cycles in dark clothes but with lights on the bike in broad daylight is stupid, the cyclist obviously wants to be seen, but is so ecologically unfriendly as to waste energy emitting light when reflective clothing would do the same for no energy consumption

My daytime bicycle lights are dynamo.
Main reason they're on in the day is because I can't be bothered turning them on and off.

I've tried flicking the switch back and forth for some time under all sorts of conditions and if it makes a difference at all I'm buggered if I can feel it.

This for me too, with the added factor that the switch is broken and won't turn off (or at least, won't stay turned off). I'm not doing it for safety (and they don't flash!)

Icsunonove
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Joined: 15 Oct 2008, 12:59pm

Re: Daytime lights

Postby Icsunonove » 18 Sep 2019, 3:21pm

roubaixtuesday wrote:
I agree eye contact is a good thing. But it's remarkable how even with it you can still be endangered.

I was T-boned years ago by a driver from a side road I thought I'd established eye contact with- he was turning right onto the main road I was on. It was a sunny morning, I'm 6'4 and was wearing a bright purple top. I've no idea why he accelerated straight at me; I think he was so focussed on getting across the road as fast as possible he registered me briefly but then went to "isthereacaristhereacaristhereacar" in his head.

Just yesterday I was going straight on at a roundabout and a driver in a Range Rover went straight over from the left at some speed. She'd have killed me if I hadn't done an emergency stop. She stared right at me as she drove. I think her brain just registered "insignificant pleb who doesn't matter to me and will get out of my way"

I like daytime lights when it's raining, foggy, or low sun. I've no idea if they make me safer, but they make me feel safer, which helps my mental well being. I'm deeply sceptical that my using them makes other cyclists not using them less safe, which is often argued.


I notice most cars now have daytime lights. Greater numbers of bicycles are now using them. I think you have reasonable insight into how some humans think and behave. Do you think it reasonable to suggest there could be a growing expectation that all vehicles will have lights and that this could lead to a tendency to actively look for lights rather than unlit objects?

Also, I think there is 'relativity' to consider. The brain probably notices things that stand out more. Imagine two objects equally illuminated. Attention is drawn to each of them equally. Now make one of them 'stand out more' by adding a bright light. If the one with the light is now 'safer' does the state of the one without remain exactly the same? Surely, if one is more noticable, the other will be less noticable?

I fear there is an escalating 'war' going on with ever more potent lights and hi-vis (please see me!). Slowing down and taking more care simply doesn't seem like an option. In fact, if 'obstacles' are more obvious, it could be a reason to feel safe, speed up and take less care. (i.e. Risk Compensation). Similar to "if a road looks like a race track, people will drive like it's a race track".

Anyway, I've been cycling long enough to always work on the assumption I've not been seen, noticed or taken account of.

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gaz
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Re: Daytime lights

Postby gaz » 18 Sep 2019, 7:02pm

kwackers wrote:I've tried flicking the switch back and forth for some time under all sorts of conditions and if it makes a difference at all I'm buggered if I can feel it.

I can feel it from my low end Shimano Dynohub if I switch it back and forth whilst riding. Set off without noting whether the switch is off or on and I couldn't tell without looking.
Hand wash only. Do not iron.

roubaixtuesday
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Re: Daytime lights

Postby roubaixtuesday » 18 Sep 2019, 7:37pm

Icsunonove wrote:
roubaixtuesday wrote:
I agree eye contact is a good thing. But it's remarkable how even with it you can still be endangered.

I was T-boned years ago by a driver from a side road I thought I'd established eye contact with- he was turning right onto the main road I was on. It was a sunny morning, I'm 6'4 and was wearing a bright purple top. I've no idea why he accelerated straight at me; I think he was so focussed on getting across the road as fast as possible he registered me briefly but then went to "isthereacaristhereacaristhereacar" in his head.

Just yesterday I was going straight on at a roundabout and a driver in a Range Rover went straight over from the left at some speed. She'd have killed me if I hadn't done an emergency stop. She stared right at me as she drove. I think her brain just registered "insignificant pleb who doesn't matter to me and will get out of my way"

I like daytime lights when it's raining, foggy, or low sun. I've no idea if they make me safer, but they make me feel safer, which helps my mental well being. I'm deeply sceptical that my using them makes other cyclists not using them less safe, which is often argued.


I notice most cars now have daytime lights. Greater numbers of bicycles are now using them. I think you have reasonable insight into how some humans think and behave. Do you think it reasonable to suggest there could be a growing expectation that all vehicles will have lights and that this could lead to a tendency to actively look for lights rather than unlit objects?

Also, I think there is 'relativity' to consider. The brain probably notices things that stand out more. Imagine two objects equally illuminated. Attention is drawn to each of them equally. Now make one of them 'stand out more' by adding a bright light. If the one with the light is now 'safer' does the state of the one without remain exactly the same? Surely, if one is more noticable, the other will be less noticable?

I fear there is an escalating 'war' going on with ever more potent lights and hi-vis (please see me!). Slowing down and taking more care simply doesn't seem like an option. In fact, if 'obstacles' are more obvious, it could be a reason to feel safe, speed up and take less care. (i.e. Risk Compensation). Similar to "if a road looks like a race track, people will drive like it's a race track".

Anyway, I've been cycling long enough to always work on the assumption I've not been seen, noticed or taken account of.


I wouldn't argue with anything you write eg in bold; I'm just sceptical whether any effect is large enough to make any real difference to safety.

I'd be more concerned that there is an expectation to wear all this gumph or light up constantly and get hassled or worse forced to do so for no real benefit, like helmets.

Mike Sales
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Re: Daytime lights

Postby Mike Sales » 18 Sep 2019, 8:13pm

One can divide "seeing" into two parts.
One is physical: it is about photons from the object registering on the retina of the observer.
The other might be called neurological. The activity of the rods and cones has to produce appropriate reaction in the consciousness of that observer. This is rather more complex, and problematic.
I think the first process is rarely the problem. I remember reading about an experiment into cyclist conspicuity having to be aborted. The drivers knew what it was about and had no problem in spotting the cyclist whatever he was wearing. They were looking for him!
We all know that we can be unseen in broad daylight, or when well lit and reflective at night.
Trying to make sure the second part of the process happens by working on the first part is missing the point.

As long as we are adequately visible it is hard to do more by brighter lights etc. when that is not the real problem. They may make you feel safer, which is good, and may make you feel more able to claim your road space.

Grandad
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Re: Daytime lights

Postby Grandad » 18 Sep 2019, 9:08pm

As long as we are adequately visible it is hard to do more by brighter lights etc. when that is not the real problem. They may make you feel safer, which is good, and may make you feel more able to claim your road space.

They also strengthen your case when you sue the driver who "did not see you"

hemo
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Location: West Sussex

Re: Daytime lights

Postby hemo » 19 Sep 2019, 10:47am

lights are only good it other users are consensus enough to drive, look and be aware of their surroundings. Any driver who is in rush or driving without due care and attention, it wouldn't matter if you were lit up like a flood light.

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mjr
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Re: Daytime lights

Postby mjr » 19 Sep 2019, 12:33pm

Grandad wrote:
As long as we are adequately visible it is hard to do more by brighter lights etc. when that is not the real problem. They may make you feel safer, which is good, and may make you feel more able to claim your road space.

They also strengthen your case when you sue the driver who "did not see you"

Does it, really, legally? Or is it just good theatre? If it strengthened the actual case legally, that would mean not having lights weakens the case of normal riders, but it doesn't because to reduce liability, the respondant has to show that non-use increased the probability of collision and that lights would have enabled a reasonably prudent and competent driver to see the cyclist when they would not otherwise - but I'm pretty sure that someone who can't see an unlit person in broad daylight would not be judged to be a reasonably prudent and competent driver.

So it may be good theatre and maybe make some worried about the press reaction if they rule otherwise, but I don't feel it should strengthen the actual legal case.

Also, don't we have a duty to oppose these bogus public prejudices for the good of all riders, rather than pander to them?
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Icsunonove
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Re: Daytime lights

Postby Icsunonove » 19 Sep 2019, 12:45pm

Mike Sales wrote:They may make you feel safer, which is good, and may make you feel more able to claim your road space.


So a bit like helmets then? i.e. Any marginal benefit is promptly lost due to risk compensation?

Mike Sales
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Re: Daytime lights

Postby Mike Sales » 19 Sep 2019, 12:52pm

Icsunonove wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:They may make you feel safer, which is good, and may make you feel more able to claim your road space.


So a bit like helmets then? i.e. Any marginal benefit is promptly lost due to risk compensation?


Quite possibly.
But taking the road is usually recommended as safer than eg letting a motor squeeze past.

Icsunonove
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Re: Daytime lights

Postby Icsunonove » 19 Sep 2019, 1:01pm

roubaixtuesday wrote:
I wouldn't argue with anything you write eg in bold; I'm just sceptical whether any effect is large enough to make any real difference to safety.

I'd be more concerned that there is an expectation to wear all this gumph or light up constantly and get hassled or worse forced to do so for no real benefit, like helmets.


My view is that in a few years will be in a position where every vehicle is lit (including cycles), hi-vis is the norm (even for pedestrians) and, in terms of overall safety, we'll be back to exactly where we started. No safety gain but a much uglier world. But you know what, perhaps I'll fit photon torpedo emitters to my bike in the hope it'll stop someone killing me.

Agree with the second part. But that follows on from the first. Need to draw a line in the sand.

Icsunonove
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Re: Daytime lights

Postby Icsunonove » 19 Sep 2019, 1:07pm

Mike Sales wrote:
Icsunonove wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:They may make you feel safer, which is good, and may make you feel more able to claim your road space.


So a bit like helmets then? i.e. Any marginal benefit is promptly lost due to risk compensation?


Quite possibly.
But taking the road is usually recommended as safer than eg letting a motor squeeze past.


Indeed, also you will more visible to others if in a more prominent position (Will be in a location where people naturally look for vehicles). But ideally this should to be done on a rational basis, not merely because you feel safer in your PPE.

Mike Sales
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Re: Daytime lights

Postby Mike Sales » 19 Sep 2019, 1:14pm

Icsunonove wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:Indeed, also you will more visible to others if in a more prominent position (Will be in a location where people naturally look for vehicles). But ideally this should to be done on a rational basis, not merely because you feel safer in your PPE.


I often think that decisions are more often made on the basis of feelings rather than rational analysis. This applies to many of the factors influencing risk and reward judgements, and more generally in life. We are much less rational than we like to think.

ambodach
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Re: Daytime lights

Postby ambodach » 19 Sep 2019, 1:17pm

I never use daytime lights on a bike but on a short section of road I use I have lights on my trike. The road is in a 30 mph zone but mostly ignored and while the LGVs who use this road are ok the 4 x4s used by residents are often not ok. I have to make a right turn at a T junction and many drivers turning right into this road often cut the corner and are distracted by oncoming traffic. Short of having a front flag as well as rear flag lights are next best for this bit. On a bike I can cheat and use a pavement for this junction.