Dangerous front lights

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simonineaston
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby simonineaston » 21 Dec 2020, 11:37am

...yet more evidence, as if any were needed, that many folk have difficulty in seeing things from other's point of view. Dazzling lights used by fellow cyclists are a pet hate of mine for exactly this reason. It didn't really matter back when roads were less busy, but the busier the roads get, the more intereaction I have with other road users of all stripe and the less comfortable a place it becomes - and just as I was getting older and less able to cope, too!
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drossall
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby drossall » 21 Dec 2020, 12:45pm

rmurphy195 wrote:Why on earth would you want to cause confusion and endanger people?

Confusion does not necessarily endanger people; it can cause them to think. Confidence sometimes endangers people. That indeed is what the OP is helpfully describing; confidence that the oncoming vehicle had been identified correctly, but misplaced confidence. Confusion because of a weird arrangement of lights would have been much safer.

In general, cyclists get into danger because drivers are (wrongly) confident. That's why it helps to do anything that causes a double-take, including generating mild confusion. Obviously, that doesn't make it responsible to generate confusion of any kind, but certainty is really dangerous on the roads.

mattsccm
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby mattsccm » 21 Dec 2020, 1:39pm

An elderly, and frightenly unobservant aunt pointed this same thing out to me a while back. She felt it was a great idea as it looked just like a car or motorbike and would thus be travelling at some speed and was thus something to be cautious about. Apparently all bikes should have them. Can't agree there but I think that the OPs misunderstanding is just one of those little things in life to get used to.

thirdcrank
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby thirdcrank » 21 Dec 2020, 2:09pm

One headlight-based mistake I regularly mistake is when a driver parks - ie not held up in traffic - and keeps their headlights on so I assume they are moving when they are not. I'm not talking here about when I'm driving along an otherwise open road but emerging from a side junction or driving along a street full of parked cars. It's not dangerous in that it only leads to an assumption that a stationary vehicle is moving, just an irritation, especially if the headlights are on main beam. Plenty of "professional" drivers seem to do this as a matter of course.

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby Cyril Haearn » 21 Dec 2020, 2:37pm

I think modern vehicles light up when they are unlocked, even if the engine is not running, -1
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Jdsk
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby Jdsk » 21 Dec 2020, 2:39pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:I think modern vehicles light up when they are unlocked, even if the engine is not running, -1

Are you thinking of DRLs or headlights that come on automatically when it's dark?

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mumbojumbo
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby mumbojumbo » 21 Dec 2020, 5:08pm

Dangerous front lights
Unread postby Earl Spool » 20 Dec 2020, 8:35pm

I was driving along a dark lane this evening and needed to pull into the middle of the road in order to reverse into a driveway. There was a car quite a long way off and coming along slowly, so that was OK. I pulled across - and suddenly a cyclist materialised from nowhere, swerving to avoid me, gave me an earful and rode off. Turned out the two headlights I thought were a car were two lights on his handlebar, bright and set close together so they looked exactly like a car a long way away. (My passenger thought exactly the same). It seems to me that any combination of two front lights is likely to do that, given how many cars go around with one bright and one dim front light. But two the same, and with car-headlight brightness, are especially dangerous.


You have used the light as aproxy for real vision.I am surprised you heard his comments as presumably your windows were closed and your engine would also obscure sound.Did you have consent to recerse in driveway?Your account seems fanciful to me-and happens to be your first post.

pwa
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby pwa » 21 Dec 2020, 5:16pm

Unnecessarily rude and aggressive there.

It is a fact that we sometimes interpret vehicle lights incorrectly. That has influenced how I arrange my own bike lights. I do have two front lights but don't have them arranged so that they could appear to be car headlamps further away. Having them very close so that they almost look like one light is a better option. Or one above the other.

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tykeboy2003
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby tykeboy2003 » 21 Dec 2020, 8:36pm

I remember a group ride a good few years back on a friday evening, it had got dark so we all had lights on. We were on an old railway line when I had to stop to wait for somebody and a couple of lads went ahead. They came to a road and not knowing their way decided to turn back. As they approached me riding abreast, I was completely convinced that a car was driving towards me.

I can fully understand where the OP is coming from, in the dark it is very easy to be fooled by such things.

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby Cyril Haearn » 21 Dec 2020, 9:31pm

All the more reason to slow down, stop, wait..
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mumbojumbo
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby mumbojumbo » 22 Dec 2020, 5:43am

I can understand the cyclist being rude if a car reversed in front.

reohn2
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby reohn2 » 22 Dec 2020, 9:38am

Pete Owens wrote:Oh dear, yet another driver not looking properly blames the victim for their own carelessness.

We can add this to the list of lame excuses for SMIDSYs. Lights too dim, Lights to bright, No lights, Too many lights, clothing the wrong colour, time of day too dark, time of day too light....

That about sums it up.
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pwa
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby pwa » 22 Dec 2020, 9:48am

reohn2 wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:Oh dear, yet another driver not looking properly blames the victim for their own carelessness.

We can add this to the list of lame excuses for SMIDSYs. Lights too dim, Lights to bright, No lights, Too many lights, clothing the wrong colour, time of day too dark, time of day too light....

That about sums it up.

You can look at it that way, but I think you miss something if that is all you get from it. Surely, as cyclists we want the positioning of our lights to send out the right message so that we remove, as much as possible, the possibility of our lights being misinterpreted. I have seen bike lights which, close up, look like car lights further away. And if they were my lights, and I made that observation, I would rearrange them so that they couldn't give that impression.

And of course the motorist in this instance made a mistake and ought to reflect on that and learn as well.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby Tangled Metal » 22 Dec 2020, 1:13pm

I use one flashing or only one keeping these other as backup. One good and working light should be enough to see imho and avoids this effect.

Btw there's a poem about a driver that could apply to cyclists about having the right of way b and enforcing it... until it kills him. I think you need to be pragmatic. If this is an effect then as a cyclist you have to stop it being an effect through better use lof lighting. Cause isn't driver but those lights that cause misidentification. No matter how right you are in the law you have to do right in the real world too. If you are aware of an issue, as we all are now, then not changing away from that setup isn't going to harm the driver only you if you ever get into those set of circumstances.

I'm all for correcting drivers or cyclists but as an individual my first thought is keeping myself safe, especially on the bike, second is keeping those with me safe and finally everyone else. First in that is not putting myself in the way of harm. Changing double light setup is that

bazzo
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby bazzo » 22 Dec 2020, 3:40pm

If they had just one light, would it not have appeared like a motor bike some distance away.