Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Columbia, Maryland
Bikes: Mountain bike & Hybrid tour bike
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Originally Posted by Hydrated
When ever I hear people write stuff like this I just start to shake my head.
In my opening post, I outlined my visibility strategy and I posited that I based it on theory and a little (very little) knowledge of how humans perceive objects/lights in darkness.
But your post above is just wrong. The human eye is not especially great at working at night... so we lose a great deal of our visual function at night. And that does indeed apply to a great majority of people... some are worse than others, but if you're human... you do lose visual acuity in darkness.
So saying that only a very few people like bigfred have depth perception issues at night is just silly. Overcoming the shortcomings of human night vision is a field of study all in itself, and I'd doubt that scientists are studying it just for bigfred's benefit.
Hey, not my job to prove anything here. I drive at night for a living. I know what I can see and what I can't see. I see people riding bicycles at night all the time and most use less than adequate lighting. Regardless I usually see them way before I am even close unless of course they are blocked by a larger vehicle.
If you had read all of my post I didn't say bigFred was alone in his dilemma. There are others with the same problem but it has been my observation from over 30yrs as a road professional that most people don't appear to have a big problem seeing things that emit light at night and being able to judge approximate distance to said glowing objects. That said there are conditions that can make seeing a cyclist harder such as riding in an urban setting with lots of competing lights in the background or riding in heavy traffic or bad weather. Still, cyclist ride at night in urban settings all the time and most have no problems.
I observe what people do every day behind the wheel of a car and I don't see my fellow motorist mowing down people riding bikes at night on a regular basis. If you think this is a silly misconception, hey...whatever.
The last time I heard about a cyclist being mowed down at night was when an 84 year old woman mowed down an 18 yr. old college student riding his bike on his way home after class. This occurred close to where I live. Very sad it was to hear that the lad was killed but likely the woman shouldn't have even been behind the wheel of a car. Thankfully I see no evidence that most people have such a problem BECAUSE IF THEY DID...NO WAY AM I GOING TO GO RIDING MY BIKE ON THE ROAD AT NIGHT!...and I'll add that if you believe what you say you believe, you shouldn't go riding at night..period. ( Why jeopardize your life riding at night if you believe there are a lot of people who can't judge distance to lit objects at night?