Dangerous front lights

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pwa
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby pwa » 22 Dec 2020, 4:01pm

Tangled Metal wrote: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

Or just have your two lights very close together so an observer sees them more or less as one light source and doesn't mis-interpret an observable gap between them.

reohn2
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby reohn2 » 22 Dec 2020, 4:09pm

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

Wot 'e sed.

PWA
We can make up as many excuses I we like,but the bottom line is that the OP didn't see,he looked sure enough and thought that was enough but it simply wasn't.
You must see what it is you're looking at to make a true assessment of what it is you're seeing and if in doubt wait.

There is too many drivers making too many quick assumptons of situations,not an hour ago in the car I was about to stop on an amber light(one of those can I,can't I,stop situations,wet road,etc)but as I aways do,by instinct I checked the RVM to see Mr BMW accelerating toward my rear bumper at a rate of knots,if I'd stopped I'm 100% sure he couldn't,so I went through.
He assumed I'd go so was following on aiming for a late amber/early red.
Half an hour before that I saw a Golf driving waayyy too close to an HGV and thought,strange,then thought mobile,sure enough....
IME assumption has become the way for many drivers.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby thirdcrank » 22 Dec 2020, 4:15pm

I was out the other day and saw a bright flashing white light. I got my Trinity House guidebook out because I thought I must have reached the coast sooner than expected and I was checking which lighthouse was guiding me

pwa
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby pwa » 22 Dec 2020, 4:23pm

reohn2 wrote:
bazzo wrote:If they had just one light, would it not have appeared like a motor bike some distance away.

Wot 'e sed.

PWA
We can make up as many excuses I we like,but the bottom line is that the OP didn't see,he looked sure enough and thought that was enough but it simply wasn't.
You must see what it is you're looking at to make a true assessment of what it is you're seeing and if in doubt wait.

There is too many drivers making too many quick assumptons of situations,not an hour ago in the car I was about to stop on an amber light(one of those can I,can't I,stop situations,wet road,etc)but as I aways do,by instinct I checked the RVM to see Mr BMW accelerating toward my rear bumper at a rate of knots,if I'd stopped I'm 100% sure he couldn't,so I went through.
He assumed I'd go so was following on aiming for a late amber/early red.
Half an hour before that I saw a Golf driving waayyy too close to an HGV and thought,strange,then thought mobile,sure enough....
IME assumption has become the way for many drivers.

I'm not disagreeing. Other road users should be questioning what they are looking at all the time, especially at night. It is all too easy to think you are looking at one thing and it turns out to be something else, especially when the information you are getting is basically a couple of light sources and a gap between them. But at the same time, for my own safety, I try to arrange my front lights to avoid a miniaturised version of car headlights. I have a choice where I place them and it tends to work out just as easy to put them side by side with minimal space between, usually with one brighter than the other. I think that makes mis-interpretation less likely. I don't think that is making excuses for anyone's mistakes. It is simply what I would suggest to you or any other cyclist if they asked me what they might try to minimise the risk of another road user not perceiving them correctly at night.

Lookrider
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Joined: 1 Aug 2019, 6:10pm

Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby Lookrider » 22 Dec 2020, 4:56pm

If you do not want a flashing light or helmet light
Or a single light or 2 next to each other as they all have merits and a downside and very reflective clothing that is not black
I have 2 lights on the bar but one is angled down to light the path 3metre infront of me
This is solely for mtb night riding
But I do use the rd slightly to get to the off rd sections ....would this dipped light and the resulting shine on the rd from it ..be a worthwhile " indicator " as no cars or motorbikes tend to have a lit up rd immiedatky in front of them
I would never know as I'm not the driver of the cars watching me ..the same as every other way others have there lights mounted do you really know how effective each variation may be ?
..car drivers rarely stop to tell you that your lit up well for some constructive advice
I'm reading and contemplating everybody's input as I want to minimise the risk to me and not rely on the highway code..who's right or wrong etc ..could be too late by then

fastpedaller
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby fastpedaller » 22 Dec 2020, 6:43pm

The OP may have made an error of judgement, but his intentions (by alerting us to it) I'm sure are good. I'd venture that it's an error many people (including ourselves) could make. I'm thinking of an analogy....... A friend of mine (who's grandparents came from Pakistan to reside in UK some 50+ years ago) was working in London at the time of the 2007 bombing. After Jean-Charles de Menezis became an innocent victim, I advised my friend "Whatever you do, don't run for a train or bus - you could end up as a victim" Just like the 'double headlight' it's a case of looking after yourself to some extent - better to do something you may not agree with, but still be alive!

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TrevA
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby TrevA » 22 Dec 2020, 7:22pm

Is this not why modern bike lights have a flashing or pulsing mode. If running 2 lights, run one on flash or pulse. This unmistakably marks you out as a cyclist and motorists should react accordingly.
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st599_uk
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby st599_uk » 29 Dec 2020, 7:56am

I cycled past a chap in the fog a few weeks ago who had a very good red light on his pannier rack. He had an equally good red light on his handlebars.
A novice learning...
“the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”

pwa
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby pwa » 29 Dec 2020, 8:21am

TrevA wrote:Is this not why modern bike lights have a flashing or pulsing mode. If running 2 lights, run one on flash or pulse. This unmistakably marks you out as a cyclist and motorists should react accordingly.

I have never tried using a flashing / pulsing light on the front (alongside the constant main beam light) on dark lanes. Surely that would have a detrimental effect on your view of the road.

Barks
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby Barks » 29 Dec 2020, 10:12am

I once drove into the rear of stationary car that I subsequently found out was waiting to turn right. It was dark and raining, I saw two red lights ahead and continued following - something distracted me slightly in the car, I can’t remember what but when I looked back to the road I only then realised that the car ahead was stationary. I emergency stopped but slightly too late and had a lucky low speed collision with only minor damage. If the stationary car waiting to turn right had used his indicator I’m pretty sure that sequence of events would not have happened. Both the driver (very forcefully and aggressively) and my insurance company saw me as the person at fault - I accept this but only to a degree. The cyclist with double headlights did contribute to the mis-observation of the driver in a a similar way that the non-indicating driver did to me.

Jdsk
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby Jdsk » 29 Dec 2020, 10:29am

pwa wrote:
TrevA wrote:Is this not why modern bike lights have a flashing or pulsing mode. If running 2 lights, run one on flash or pulse. This unmistakably marks you out as a cyclist and motorists should react accordingly.

I have never tried using a flashing / pulsing light on the front (alongside the constant main beam light) on dark lanes. Surely that would have a detrimental effect on your view of the road.

I typically have a dynamo front lamp on the fork crown and a battery LED lamp on the bars. One of the rôles of the battery lamp is as back-up in case of failure. But apart from that in town and on lit roads I usually set it to flash and it's there to tell other road users of my presence more than to illuminate the road or anything else.

The last half-mile to home is a dark narrow lane with high sides. On that I stop it flashing because the flashing interferes with my view, precisely as you suggest.

Shirley

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TrevA
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby TrevA » 29 Dec 2020, 4:53pm

pwa wrote:
TrevA wrote:Is this not why modern bike lights have a flashing or pulsing mode. If running 2 lights, run one on flash or pulse. This unmistakably marks you out as a cyclist and motorists should react accordingly.

I have never tried using a flashing / pulsing light on the front (alongside the constant main beam light) on dark lanes. Surely that would have a detrimental effect on your view of the road.


I find if you use your most powerful light on constant and a less powerful light on flash or pulse, you can still see the road very well.
A cart horse trapped in the body of a man.
http://www.jogler2009.blogspot.com

Tangled Metal
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby Tangled Metal » 29 Dec 2020, 5:45pm

If I have two lights on the lower lumen backup is the flashing one. I've never had an issue with the flashing affecting my vision of the road ahead whether a road with or without street lighting.

The op was being open and honest I thought by telling us about his mistake and about what contributed to his mistake, the bike lights. It's not that the cyclist was at fault just that the cyclist could help with such a situation by changing their front lighting system. It's hardly a big deal to make that change but it sure sounds like it is from many replies on here. A sentiment that any positive feedback between motorists and cyclists is about putting blame on the cyclists. Can't have that so n attack, attack, attack!!!

For once can we, as cyclists just look for the positive. A cycling motorist made a mistake because a cyclist's lighting system confused him and he did not recognise that he was confused. How can we all benefit from this situation? Drivers can wait to make sure of what they see but wasn't the op already sure of what he saw? How about us cyclists adjust our lighting so it's not confusing to motorists? Oh that sounds a very easy thing to do. We can't stop motorists or any road user making mistakes or error of judgment based on misinterpretation of what they see. Knowledge and experience helps with that but it's earnt by mistakes usually. Why is making your bike lights less confusing wrong???

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby [XAP]Bob » 29 Dec 2020, 10:37pm

For everyone posting that the OP should have looked better...

What the hell do you think they were looking at... A dark road, with headlights coming towards you there is no way you can see anything *but* the headlights - they are sufficiently bright to eradicate any contrast anywhere else. So that's all the information you have. And you know what looks like a car at distance, a cyclist with lights at 1/4 the separation and 1/4 the distance.
In a town that's a *time* difference of perhaps 32s vs 12s (30mph vs 20mph over 1/4 the distance), the difference between an easily completed the manoeuvre, and the car still being across the road.


If you look and identify a car far off, what do you do? wait 30 seconds on that 0.1% chance you weren't correct?
No, you make your manoeuvre - the correct manoeuvre here (reversing into a driveway) to enable you to drive forward out of the driveway.
The cyclist had a clear view of what was happening, and avoided the potential incident.
I suspect that any further away or closer the erroneous identification wouldn't have happened, but there will be distances/separations that make mistaken identity a practical certainty.


I used to get mistaken for a motorbike from the front (two lights very close together), but that never gave raise to any issues, since the distance/speed error wasn't nearly as significant.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Dangerous front lights

Postby Cyril Haearn » 30 Dec 2020, 7:41am

[XAP]Bob wrote:..

..

An interesting film for those who disagree with me about stop signs and ability to read

Fact is, drivers kill lots of us. We kill none of them
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