Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Advocacy & Safety
Reload this Page >

Please use lights all the time!

Notices
Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

Please use lights all the time!

Old 09-13-22, 06:35 AM
  #26  
Paul Barnard
For The Fun of It
 
Paul Barnard's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Louisissippi Coast
Posts: 5,520

Bikes: Lynskey GR300, Lynskey Backroad, Litespeed T6, Lynskey MT29, Burley Duet

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1913 Post(s)
Liked 1,336 Times in 680 Posts
Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post

And I really don't get the argument that lights are a defense against distracted driving at all. If they're not looking at the road ahead of them, your lights aren't going to matter.

.
Distracted drivers will briefly look up, then go back to their distraction, then look up, then go back to their distraction. The hope is that something stands out when they look up. Our smaller profile may not steal their attention, so color, movement or lights that are out of the ordinary might. Perhaps that's why we see flashing lights on emergency vehicles and some signs and why our cars have emergency flashers.
Paul Barnard is offline  
Likes For Paul Barnard:
Old 09-13-22, 06:41 AM
  #27  
Paul Barnard
For The Fun of It
 
Paul Barnard's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Louisissippi Coast
Posts: 5,520

Bikes: Lynskey GR300, Lynskey Backroad, Litespeed T6, Lynskey MT29, Burley Duet

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1913 Post(s)
Liked 1,336 Times in 680 Posts
Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post

I have no problem with drl except that some of the bright rapidly flashing white lights actually make it harder to figure out the position and heading of the cyclist.

.
Thanks for sharing your anecdote.



See what I did there?





FWIW, my anecdotal experience is like yours.
Paul Barnard is offline  
Likes For Paul Barnard:
Old 09-13-22, 06:44 AM
  #28  
RB1-luvr
I don't know.
 
RB1-luvr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: South Meriden, CT
Posts: 1,335

Bikes: '90 B'stone RB-1, '92 B'stone RB-2, '89 SuperGo Access Comp, '03 Access 69er, '23 Trek 520, '14 Ritchey Road Logic, '09 Kestrel Evoke, '17 Surly Wednesday, '89 Centurion Accordo, '15 CruX, '17 Ridley X-Night

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Liked 230 Times in 135 Posts
also, I've had drivers looking at me and almost hit me. I've made the mistake myself. It's not always that one isn't looking in the direction they're supposed to be looking, it's that they are just looking for cars.
RB1-luvr is offline  
Old 09-13-22, 06:44 AM
  #29  
Paul Barnard
For The Fun of It
 
Paul Barnard's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Louisissippi Coast
Posts: 5,520

Bikes: Lynskey GR300, Lynskey Backroad, Litespeed T6, Lynskey MT29, Burley Duet

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1913 Post(s)
Liked 1,336 Times in 680 Posts
Originally Posted by LV2TNDM View Post
I'm glad you're flattered. Too bad it's for all the wrong reasons. I guess you should thank me for not calling you out more.

Anyway, your original reply and this one, as usual, reek of arrogance and dismissiveness. You're so full of yourself, it's embarrassing. To wit;

"And they are still not better than riding cautious and aware." Wanna back that up with some ACTUAL data?

Because I'm pretty sure you're wrong. "Dead" wrong. As in, many riders may end up "dead" following your officious recommendations.

If lights don't improve safety, then why do drivers often encounter "Daylight Safety Sections" on high-risk highways? Oftentimes, two-lane highways that have been identified as having much higher incidence of serious crashes, oftentimes involving fatal head-on collisions require drivers to use headlights ALL THE TIME. Hwy 20 out of Auburn is one such highway, as is Hwy 99 in the Sacramento valley. But even thought it's safer AND the law, there are arrogant drivers out there who can't be bothered to turn their lights on. Looks like I found one of 'em - YOU! Figures.

If lights during the day don't offer additional safety, then why are "Daytime Running Lights" on automobiles considered an additional safety feature? And why do insurance rates drop for drivers using them?

Thirdly, if lights don't help, why do motorcycles use daytime running lights? Why are they now required in California and other states?
"Anyone riding a motorbike produced after 1977 during the day must have daytime running lights."

Fourth, drivers are now required to turn on their headlights during inclement weather in many states, California included. I'm sure many drivers could simply "drive better and avoid collisions" if they were just more experienced, according to you. But those in the REAL world understand that drivers aren't perfect; they're distracted, hurried, impaired and who knows what else. So instead of wishing and hoping drivers would driver better in the rain, we simply passed a law to require headlights be used whenever your windshield wipers are on. Pretty simple. OH but there are hordes of drivers who can't be bothered to do this. The ones in silver cars are a SPECIAL kind of stupid! Again, I'm guessing this might be you.

Looks like these four examples clearly rebut your mis-informed stance on bike lights during the day. I could go into these examples in further detail, but would rather not waste any more time on you. Again, your reply was 100% predicted, and you confirmed my suspicion almost immediately.

Now we're all impressed with your LONG tenure pedaling on two wheels. But consider this, when you and I were wearing hairnet helmets, drivers weren't on their phones! They weren't surfing the internet or sending texts. They didn't have their eyes glued to a navigation screen as they tried to figure out where they're going. This fact ALONE is enough to convince anyone with ANY sense to use lights on their bicycle during the day (in addition to at night, obviously).

But nope, you've come here to rebut a suggestion that doesn't need rebutting. To let everyone know that my post was an "unsolicited PSA." You apparently find someone offering sound advice that may save a life and/or serious injury "unsolicited advice" on a bicycle forum. I disagree. And as I said, your "opinion" will increase risk for people heeding it. Well, the friend who was hit, as I said, has more mileage under his belt than about 95% of the bicycling public. And in a very dense urban area. So he's the PERFECT example of the "experienced cyclist" who didn't use lights who was almost killed by a driver who didn't see him. Looks like "depending on experience" wasn't quite enough. Didn't matter how many thousands of miles he had on the saddle, or how many right-hooks he's avoided during his 30-career cycling to work, he STILL got nailed. That right there is a pretty strong argument for front and rear lights during the day.

But I'm countering your stupid post because I feel the new or less-informed cyclist might take your advice in error. The newer or less experienced cyclist needs MORE tools at their disposal to reduce the chance of collision. It's like the baloney "alternative facts" crap we're seeing today. Let's barrage people with "both sides of the argument" and leave them drawing the wrong conclusions, or leave them too confused to make the correct conclusions. Lights are the correct conclusion, ESPECIALLY for new riders. Once they've gotten 25 years of cycling under their belts, then maybe they can forgo the lights and be as safe and awesome a rider as you are!!!

I suspect that your post was just the kind of attention he was seeking. There are some here who tend to the adversarial for the sake of being adversarial. I know I'll never move their needle, but there may be someone with a malleable mind who reads our responses critically and makes better informed choices.
Paul Barnard is offline  
Old 09-13-22, 07:33 AM
  #30  
livedarklions
High Performance Noodler
 
livedarklions's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 14,424

Bikes: Serotta Atlanta; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Giant OCR A1; SOMA Double Cross Disc; 2022 Allez Elite mit der SRAM

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7598 Post(s)
Liked 7,967 Times in 4,471 Posts
Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
Thanks for sharing your anecdote.



See what I did there?





FWIW, my anecdotal experience is like yours.

You're actually making the point I was, my anecdote is just as good as OP's so I have no reason to defer to OP's.

I do think there's actual data on bright strobing adversely affecting the ability to perceive speed and location, but that's a side point and I really don't want to chase that one around again.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 09-13-22, 07:55 AM
  #31  
boozergut
Full Member
 
boozergut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 399

Bikes: Kona Dew, Gary Fisher Paragon, Salsa Campeon

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 89 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 46 Posts
I saw a rider early Saturday morning with both a rear flashing light on his seat and a rear flashing light on the back of his helmet. I saw that people were giving him a second curious look which I think is exactly what you want in terms of safety.
boozergut is offline  
Old 09-13-22, 09:10 AM
  #32  
Daniel4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,331

Bikes: Sekine 1979 ten speed racer

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1404 Post(s)
Liked 546 Times in 370 Posts
There are people who believe that having bright lights will decrease the risk of a collision with cars. In other threads, there are those who believe they may increase collisions. And then in this thread, there are people who don't think lights will have any effect at all.

In any case, if you are in a collision while having front and rear lights, as required in many jurisdictions, who do you think the police will charge: the cyclist because the driver who collided into you was distracted and confused by all the lights; or the driver who says "I didn't even see him"?

Last edited by Daniel4; 09-13-22 at 09:17 AM.
Daniel4 is online now  
Likes For Daniel4:
Old 09-13-22, 09:41 AM
  #33  
I-Like-To-Bike
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Posts: 29,428

Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked 1,162 Times in 780 Posts
Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
There are people who believe that having bright lights will decrease the risk of a collision with cars. In other threads, there are those who believe they may increase collisions. And then in this thread, there are people who don't think lights will have any effect at all.
There are also people who believe that unusual bright light displays are signs of extra-terrestrial lifeforms; so what?
Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
In any case, if you are in a collision while having front and rear lights, as required in many jurisdictions, who do you think the police will charge: the cyclist because the driver who collided into you was distracted and confused by all the lights; or the driver who says "I didn't even see him"?
Hopefully the police will "charge" the individual(s) at fault for the collision and not engage in silly or irrelevant arguments made by emotional people.
Believe it or not, cyclists, even those having front and rear lights, as required in many jurisdictions, are capable of riding foolishly and being at fault for a collision.
I-Like-To-Bike is offline  
Old 09-13-22, 10:31 AM
  #34  
livedarklions
High Performance Noodler
 
livedarklions's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 14,424

Bikes: Serotta Atlanta; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Giant OCR A1; SOMA Double Cross Disc; 2022 Allez Elite mit der SRAM

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7598 Post(s)
Liked 7,967 Times in 4,471 Posts
Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
There are people who believe that having bright lights will decrease the risk of a collision with cars. In other threads, there are those who believe they may increase collisions. And then in this thread, there are people who don't think lights will have any effect at all.

In any case, if you are in a collision while having front and rear lights, as required in many jurisdictions, who do you think the police will charge: the cyclist because the driver who collided into you was distracted and confused by all the lights; or the driver who says "I didn't even see him"?

My answer is the question appears to have been written by someone who doesn't know how life actually works. If it's like the vast majority of cases, nobody is going to be charged.

We are talking about DRL, any safety effect will likely be at the margins either way because, y'know, things are generally pretty visible in daylight. My post was basically saying they can't hurt unless you have the wildly inappropriate dazzler effect going on, and yes I have seen people riding around with those things as a driver, and I think they might make it marginally more likely that I will make a mistake and hit them. It's not a huge effect like it is when these things are staring you in the face on a MUP, but I think it can be largely avoided by picking a slightly slower blink rate.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 09-13-22, 12:53 PM
  #35  
Calsun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 579
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 234 Post(s)
Liked 127 Times in 99 Posts
I am amazed how the majority of riders I see on the roads are wearing dull and inconspicuous clothing. I almost hit a kid on a bike who was out riding at night with black pants and a black shirt. I saw the pedal reflectors that are mandated by law and that saved his life.

Drivers are busy texting or checking for texts on their phones and accidents have increased greatly. I want to wear clothing that make me stand out from the surroundings and I also ride so I am easily noticed. People who ride close to the curb and then need to go around parked cars are risking their lives as motorists are not smart enough to expect them to move out and go around the vehicle. With cell phones and a failure of law enforcement people to enforce hands free use in cars the roads have become a lot more dangerous for cyclists. Areas that I would ride in my area I now avoid as it is not worth risking my life for a ride.

If bike lights were bright enough to be truly of value they would be made illegal as with high efficiency car headlamps. And we now have people who are foolish enough to believe their new Tesla can be in auto mode and so we have deaths from these cars suddenly veering off and going into parked vehicles and buildings.
Calsun is offline  
Old 09-13-22, 01:43 PM
  #36  
Gear_Admiral 
Newbie
 
Gear_Admiral's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 36
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 8 Posts
There is a difference between going with what "makes sense after five seconds of thought" and assuming that authorities are intelligent and have good intentions on the one hand, and relying on informed experience and looking at studies and years of evidence on the other.

Originally Posted by LV2TNDM View Post

If lights don't improve safety, then why do drivers often encounter "Daylight Safety Sections" on high-risk highways?
...
If lights during the day don't offer additional safety, then why are "Daytime Running Lights" on automobiles considered an additional safety feature? And why do insurance rates drop for drivers using them?
You assume that engineers and elected politicians and voters know what is best and are willing and able to implement those policies. Take a cursory look at something that compares countries. YouTube channels like City Nerd can get real mathy and nerdy. NotJustBikes also deserves a mention. You have talks by Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns. In North America, most engineers, and many more voters, and elected officials simply have no clue how traffic works. A very basic property of traffic is that expanding a 4-lane highway to 6 lanes just mkaes more people comfortable driving to the point where congestion rates hit the old equilibrium only now with more complex driving, more downstream bottlenecks, and higher maintenance costs. The solution is to boost alternative modes of transportation, have congestion taxes, and to allow mixed uses so that a bedtown of 10,000 houses and nothing else doesn't have its residents drive 50 miles to the nearest grocery store. North Americans are just ignorant here. Most simply do not know what to do and are unaware (or even willfully blind) to decades of examples outside their borders. You don't need a master's in engineering or a Ph.D. in sociology to get a job as a legislator. Your argument does not even rise to the level of the informal logical fallacy of appealing to authority.

Originally Posted by LV2TNDM View Post

Thirdly, if lights don't help, why do motorcycles use daytime running lights? Why are they now required in California and other states?
"Anyone riding a motorbike produced after 1977 during the day must have daytime running lights."
This is called victim blaming. That child should not have been walking in the street. That woman should not be out late at night alone. And so on. The onus is always on pedestrians and motorcyclists and cyclists to make ourselves more visible. This assumes that all motorists are good and competent and not ill-intentioned (i.e., no coal rollers or punishment passers) *and* that the responsibility for safety should be on those who are harmless to others, not those piloting 2-ton metal boxes at high speed *and* that we cyclists and motorcyclists and pedestrians are hard to see.

Originally Posted by LV2TNDM View Post

Fourth, drivers are now required to turn on their headlights during inclement weather in many states, California included. I'm sure many drivers could simply "drive better and avoid collisions" if they were just more experienced, according to you. But those in the REAL world understand that drivers aren't perfect; they're distracted, hurried, impaired and who knows what else. So instead of wishing and hoping drivers would driver better in the rain, we simply passed a law to require headlights be used whenever your windshield wipers are on. Pretty simple. OH but there are hordes of drivers who can't be bothered to do this. The ones in silver cars are a SPECIAL kind of stupid! Again, I'm guessing this might be you.

Looks like these four examples clearly rebut your mis-informed stance on bike lights during the day. I could go into these examples in further detail, but would rather not waste any more time on you. Again, your reply was 100% predicted, and you confirmed my suspicion almost immediately.
Drivers need to have forward-facing headlights on so that they can *see others*. A car being seen is less of an issue. On a separated roadway that is one way-only, as in the typical divided highway, the headlights will have zero value to being seen because there is zero risk of a head-on collision. If in a car yourself, you want your rear lights to work (the night-time steady mode of the red coming out of the brake lights) and the person behind you to use his or her headlights and to exercise due caution.

Originally Posted by LV2TNDM View Post

[to another user]: ... Lights are the correct conclusion, ESPECIALLY for new riders. Once they've gotten 25 years of cycling under their belts, then maybe they can forgo the lights and be as safe and awesome a rider as you are!!!
(1) No.

(2) Calm down.

I have been lit from head to toe like a Christmas tree at night. I have had a bright, blinking daytime light (aimed downward so as not to blind oncoming traffic) in the day. These lights make almost no difference for "being seen." Motorists will be in the oncoming lane and turn left to hit me perpendicularly. Motorists look but fail to see. Look up that video with the basketball and the gorilla. Conspicuousness isn't as big of a deal as some people make it out to be.

As far as data go, I should mention you can't just cite any US government body or scientific journal blindly. Only when you look over the data of crashes by the federal government in America do you see that almost all crashes are caused by drivers going too fast. Many crashes coded as pedestrian error include "daydreaming" or "listening to music on headphones." Why do this? We don't say that anyone shot by a gun who wasn't wearing pink or orange by default was at fault and died in a "shooting accident." No, we put the blame squarely with the gun owner and gun shooter first. Then the burden of proof moves to proving self defense or whatever. I have also seen how horrible journal articles can be when written by non-cyclists. Engineering journals read almost exclusively by academics will have conclusions that boast of efficacy of painted bike lanes by citing the fact that most cyclists they interviewed (*who were already daredevils and rode on the dangerous road in question*) said the paint in the shoulder was better than not having the paint. What is this, dictator logic? Stage a coup, write a new constitution that is absolutely awful, write a second constitution a few years later that is slightly less bad, hold a poll that most people boycott, report that your changes won 51-49 among voters and say you have a democratic mandate to stay on as "president."

The sad truth is that most academics, politicians, voters, and engineers in North America especially really have no clue. Don't appeal to their wisdom.
Gear_Admiral is offline  
Old 09-13-22, 01:48 PM
  #37  
Gear_Admiral 
Newbie
 
Gear_Admiral's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 36
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post

We are talking about DRL, any safety effect will likely be at the margins either way because, y'know, things are generally pretty visible in daylight.
One area where it makes a ton of sense is in the Nordic countries. I will grant that. There are towns in mountainous and polar places like Norway where the sun is so low that you never see direct sunlight for months and months at a time. Having DRL 24/7 makes sense.
Gear_Admiral is offline  
Likes For Gear_Admiral:
Old 09-13-22, 02:08 PM
  #38  
Paul Barnard
For The Fun of It
 
Paul Barnard's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Louisissippi Coast
Posts: 5,520

Bikes: Lynskey GR300, Lynskey Backroad, Litespeed T6, Lynskey MT29, Burley Duet

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1913 Post(s)
Liked 1,336 Times in 680 Posts
Originally Posted by Gear_Admiral View Post
Conspicuousness isn't as big of a deal as some people make it out to be.

.
I tend to view things through a cost/benefit lens. It costs next to nothing. I wear clothes, socks and shoes, so it costs me nothing to employ colors. The cheap rechargeable lights I use cost 15 bucks for a set. Even if it isn't a big deal, the question is, why not?
Paul Barnard is offline  
Old 09-13-22, 02:38 PM
  #39  
Pinelander
Roadie
 
Pinelander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southern NJ
Posts: 67
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked 50 Times in 27 Posts
When I look in my mirror while riding it is much easier to see approaching cars with DRLs. I also pay attention to other riders and my non-scientific conclusion is that those with lights are much more visible at a greater distance.
Pinelander is offline  
Likes For Pinelander:
Old 09-13-22, 02:44 PM
  #40  
livedarklions
High Performance Noodler
 
livedarklions's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 14,424

Bikes: Serotta Atlanta; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Giant OCR A1; SOMA Double Cross Disc; 2022 Allez Elite mit der SRAM

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7598 Post(s)
Liked 7,967 Times in 4,471 Posts
Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I tend to view things through a cost/benefit lens. It costs next to nothing. I wear clothes, socks and shoes, so it costs me nothing to employ colors. The cheap rechargeable lights I use cost 15 bucks for a set. Even if it isn't a big deal, the question is, why not?
I'm with you on the colors, but I actually find running DRL to be a PITA, and not worth whatever teeny tiny marginal change in probabilities I think it might provide. I don't question other people's choices on this, I just don't care for the over-hype of the "do it or die" nonsense.

I'll run lights in the fog or if I'm going out after dark, but I just don't buy that if people are too distracted to see my big yellow torso, that a little light in the daytime is going to likely change that.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 09-13-22, 02:46 PM
  #41  
livedarklions
High Performance Noodler
 
livedarklions's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 14,424

Bikes: Serotta Atlanta; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Giant OCR A1; SOMA Double Cross Disc; 2022 Allez Elite mit der SRAM

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7598 Post(s)
Liked 7,967 Times in 4,471 Posts
Originally Posted by Pinelander View Post
When I look in my mirror while riding it is much easier to see approaching cars with DRLs. I also pay attention to other riders and my non-scientific conclusion is that those with lights are much more visible at a greater distance.

I think the science here is so weak, people should probably just go with their non-scientific conclusions.

I'm looking at it from a driver's perspective, and those lights don't usually stand out any more than the guy I might hit would. Flashing lights are great at drawing my eye to the bicyclist completely on the opposite side of the road from me on the left which is probably the position I'm least likely to actually cross paths with them.

Last edited by livedarklions; 09-13-22 at 02:51 PM.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 09-13-22, 03:00 PM
  #42  
GhostRider62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 3,062
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1797 Post(s)
Liked 1,486 Times in 946 Posts
Originally Posted by Gear_Admiral View Post
There is a difference between going with what "makes sense after five seconds of thought" and assuming that authorities are intelligent and have good intentions on the one hand, and relying on informed experience and looking at studies and years of evidence on the other.



You assume that engineers and elected politicians and voters know what is best and are willing and able to implement those policies. Take a cursory look at something that compares countries. YouTube channels like City Nerd can get real mathy and nerdy. NotJustBikes also deserves a mention. You have talks by Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns. In North America, most engineers, and many more voters, and elected officials simply have no clue how traffic works. A very basic property of traffic is that expanding a 4-lane highway to 6 lanes just mkaes more people comfortable driving to the point where congestion rates hit the old equilibrium only now with more complex driving, more downstream bottlenecks, and higher maintenance costs. The solution is to boost alternative modes of transportation, have congestion taxes, and to allow mixed uses so that a bedtown of 10,000 houses and nothing else doesn't have its residents drive 50 miles to the nearest grocery store. North Americans are just ignorant here. Most simply do not know what to do and are unaware (or even willfully blind) to decades of examples outside their borders. You don't need a master's in engineering or a Ph.D. in sociology to get a job as a legislator. Your argument does not even rise to the level of the informal logical fallacy of appealing to authority.



This is called victim blaming. That child should not have been walking in the street. That woman should not be out late at night alone. And so on. The onus is always on pedestrians and motorcyclists and cyclists to make ourselves more visible. This assumes that all motorists are good and competent and not ill-intentioned (i.e., no coal rollers or punishment passers) *and* that the responsibility for safety should be on those who are harmless to others, not those piloting 2-ton metal boxes at high speed *and* that we cyclists and motorcyclists and pedestrians are hard to see.



Drivers need to have forward-facing headlights on so that they can *see others*. A car being seen is less of an issue. On a separated roadway that is one way-only, as in the typical divided highway, the headlights will have zero value to being seen because there is zero risk of a head-on collision. If in a car yourself, you want your rear lights to work (the night-time steady mode of the red coming out of the brake lights) and the person behind you to use his or her headlights and to exercise due caution.



(1) No.

(2) Calm down.

I have been lit from head to toe like a Christmas tree at night. I have had a bright, blinking daytime light (aimed downward so as not to blind oncoming traffic) in the day. These lights make almost no difference for "being seen." Motorists will be in the oncoming lane and turn left to hit me perpendicularly. Motorists look but fail to see. Look up that video with the basketball and the gorilla. Conspicuousness isn't as big of a deal as some people make it out to be.

As far as data go, I should mention you can't just cite any US government body or scientific journal blindly. Only when you look over the data of crashes by the federal government in America do you see that almost all crashes are caused by drivers going too fast. Many crashes coded as pedestrian error include "daydreaming" or "listening to music on headphones." Why do this? We don't say that anyone shot by a gun who wasn't wearing pink or orange by default was at fault and died in a "shooting accident." No, we put the blame squarely with the gun owner and gun shooter first. Then the burden of proof moves to proving self defense or whatever. I have also seen how horrible journal articles can be when written by non-cyclists. Engineering journals read almost exclusively by academics will have conclusions that boast of efficacy of painted bike lanes by citing the fact that most cyclists they interviewed (*who were already daredevils and rode on the dangerous road in question*) said the paint in the shoulder was better than not having the paint. What is this, dictator logic? Stage a coup, write a new constitution that is absolutely awful, write a second constitution a few years later that is slightly less bad, hold a poll that most people boycott, report that your changes won 51-49 among voters and say you have a democratic mandate to stay on as "president."

The sad truth is that most academics, politicians, voters, and engineers in North America especially really have no clue. Don't appeal to their wisdom.
Before they gang up on you and you get banned, I generally agree with your post.

Hell, everyone I know who has been run over, killed, or seriously injured has had all manner of lights and conspicuous clothing on. The obvious conclusion? Running lights and wearing bright kit makes you a target, like flies on a lightbulb in the dark. Of course, I expect few to detect the sardonic tone of this.
GhostRider62 is offline  
Old 09-13-22, 03:31 PM
  #43  
Gear_Admiral 
Newbie
 
Gear_Admiral's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 36
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I just don't care for the over-hype of the "do it or die" nonsense.
Hear, hear. I also will wear the colors, use reflectors, and often use all the lights because it is a small cost relatively, yes, but I mostly do these things for liability -- i.e., to legally cover my own butt. When a car inevitably does hit me (again), the police and passersby cannot blame me (i.e., they cannot blame the victim).

The lights may make a 10% difference in reducing a motorist's likelihood to hit me, but even that seems generously high. Helmets and lights do make sense, but I hate when people make them out to be do-or-die (as if they are that effective) or worse, when they legislate.

<philosophical_rant>

I will wear a helmet. I will advise younger female relatives (e.g., nieces) to carry pepper spray when traveling alone at night. But I oppose legislating these things.

"Oh, Miss, it was unprovoked sexual assault, huh? Really? Why didn't you spray your attacker? What's that -- you didn't even have a pepper spray canister on you? We have these rules for a reason, for your own safety. You done messed up."

Now switch up the words and we see the reality of how most Americans react to cyclists' being hit:

"Oh, the driver was being reckless and was distracted and the road design was unsafe, huh? Really? This driver had a license -- where's yours? He also had his seatbelt on and his headlights on. According to this report, your bike didn't even have a single reflector on the rear wheel. We have these rules for a reason, for your own safety. You done messed up."

When people like the OP over-hype the benefits of marginal goodies, they make it seem downright stupid to not follow their advice and begin to reverse the burden of responsibility and blame from the person operating a 2-ton metal box towards the person who, with the weight of the bike, is 250 pounds at the absolute maximum going about 15 mph.

Even with my young female example, the best way to reduce attacks by perverts is to have women in segregated bathrooms, segregated subway cars, and in segregated showers, and so on. News flash to trendy youth who put pronouns in their bios and think all this is some Christian, prudish holdover: separate facilities for women are an achievement of feminists. Before they existed, women ventured into public at their own peril. Quite predictably, they often felt safer staying at home. Parallel: this is the exact situation for many of the 95% (?) of Americans who *could* use a bicycle occasionally but choose not to because motorists make it too dangerous for them.

We need to stop making it cyclists' responsibility to make themselves seen, to beg motorists to be better. We need to slow down traffic and have fewer vehicle miles traveled, full stop. This doesn't mean everyone in America can trade his or her car for a bike for every single use case today, but it *does* mean that motorists will have to see some changes to their lives for things to improve. Further inconveniencing cyclists will not save our lives.

This convo reminds me of the Silicon Valley tech bros. demanding that bicyclists start installing RFID tags in their bicycles if they don't want to get hit because their precious Teslas and whatever only do well driving in the California desert. Cyclists and legislators have thankfully said, no. This is an inconvenient burden and shifts the blame. "If the bicyclist wanted to not be struck and killed, then he should have installed the RFID tag." Unfortunately, Tesla got the go-ahead to *alpha* test its software on public roads in towns in California, with morbidly hilarious results in some cases.

</philosophical_rant>

Real talk:

If towns and/or states/provinces mandated helmets, reflectors, hi-viz clothing, lights, and RFID tags, or if most civilians and police merely expected them, then the only cycling you would ever see is toddlers on trikes in their suburban driveways and athletes in velodromes.

Last edited by Gear_Admiral; 09-13-22 at 03:36 PM.
Gear_Admiral is offline  
Old 09-13-22, 04:07 PM
  #44  
Daniel4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,331

Bikes: Sekine 1979 ten speed racer

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1404 Post(s)
Liked 546 Times in 370 Posts

It has been over a hundred years since the automobile has taken over all the streets and roads. And about half that time, there has been efforts to reduce road fatalities with good success in the Netherlands, Denmark and Japan. But in North America, any effort to do so may result in that politician losing the next election.

RFIDs need not be the responsibility of the vulnerable road user. At the expense of the automobile industry, have every bicycle and related accessory, wheelchair, scooter, shoe, purse, wallet, jacket, coat etc be sold with RFIDs and transponders installed in them. And then legislate with the cooperation of insurance companies for detectors to be installed in every motorized vehicle.

Yeah, I can see now how the conspiracy theory types are going to protest and yell that their freedom is going to be infringed for Big Semiconductor.

If so many cyclists on Bike Forums are ok with their Garmin Varia or other bike radar beeping at them to get out of the way, then it should be ok for drivers to have something similar to tell them to slow down and keep its distance.

Last edited by Daniel4; 09-13-22 at 05:07 PM.
Daniel4 is online now  
Likes For Daniel4:
Old 09-14-22, 05:21 AM
  #45  
livedarklions
High Performance Noodler
 
livedarklions's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 14,424

Bikes: Serotta Atlanta; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Giant OCR A1; SOMA Double Cross Disc; 2022 Allez Elite mit der SRAM

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7598 Post(s)
Liked 7,967 Times in 4,471 Posts
Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post

It has been over a hundred years since the automobile has taken over all the streets and roads. And about half that time, there has been efforts to reduce road fatalities with good success in the Netherlands, Denmark and Japan. But in North America, any effort to do so may result in that politician losing the next election.

RFIDs need not be the responsibility of the vulnerable road user. At the expense of the automobile industry, have every bicycle and related accessory, wheelchair, scooter, shoe, purse, wallet, jacket, coat etc be sold with RFIDs and transponders installed in them. And then legislate with the cooperation of insurance companies for detectors to be installed in every motorized vehicle.

Yeah, I can see now how the conspiracy theory types are going to protest and yell that their freedom is going to be infringed for Big Semiconductor.

If so many cyclists on Bike Forums are ok with their Garmin Varia or other bike radar beeping at them to get out of the way, then it should be ok for drivers to have something similar to tell them to slow down and keep its distance.

Your idea puts so many RFID devices on a single person that the damn things will probably be setting each other off constantly. That's going to be more distracting than having nothing at all.
And what kind of reasoning is some cyclists like Varia, so everyone else will like constantly wearing monitoring devices?

BTW,, how many devices do you think you can put out there without the signals interfering with each other?
livedarklions is offline  
Old 09-14-22, 10:38 AM
  #46  
I-Like-To-Bike
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Posts: 29,428

Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked 1,162 Times in 780 Posts
Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Your idea puts so many RFID devices on a single person that the damn things will probably be setting each other off constantly.
Including the RFID devices embedded in the driver's and passenger's, clothes, wallets, purses and shoes. Privacy concerns? Oh Pshaw!

This "good idea" brings back memories of a poster in Living Car Free who until a few years ago constantly posted on LCF and occasionally P&R similar over-the-top "good ideas" that were based on similar logical reasoning, and were so out of touch with reality that they were a barrel of laffs.

LCF has never been the same since he no longer shares his "good ideas" on that list.
I-Like-To-Bike is offline  
Old 09-14-22, 11:22 AM
  #47  
livedarklions
High Performance Noodler
 
livedarklions's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 14,424

Bikes: Serotta Atlanta; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Giant OCR A1; SOMA Double Cross Disc; 2022 Allez Elite mit der SRAM

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7598 Post(s)
Liked 7,967 Times in 4,471 Posts
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Including the RFID devices embedded in the driver's and passenger's, clothes, wallets, purses and shoes. Privacy concerns? Oh Pshaw!

Privacy? Hell, I don't even like the laundry concerns.
Might as well chip us like they do cats. At least that would only be one per person.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 09-14-22, 01:17 PM
  #48  
OBoile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,745
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1001 Post(s)
Liked 307 Times in 188 Posts
Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I'm flattered that you have even taken the time to notice my post history. But I disagree that they are overly anything. They are what they are. You are biased I fear, because at this moment we disagree. My writing style might be 'drier' than many. More grammatical. That is not, in itself critical and/or negative. I also disagree that my posts contain any false information. Not agreeing with YOU doesn't make ME wrong. In A&S it is usually the cyclists that have been hit, some multiple times, that have the most to say about what or what not makes a cyclist safer. Meh. I'd rather get the POV of the cyclist(s) that has never been hit. I was riding a good 25 years before flashers were ever invented, and probably another 10 before they got good enough to be worth a damn. And they are still not better than riding cautious and aware. So it was the overstatement of putting out an unsolicited PSA that we all should be lighting up day and night to be safe when that simply is not the case that caused me to respond. It isn't. You don't have to believe me, I don't really care. But I have every right to put my truth out there next to yours. And I will. Peace. Out.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivorship_bias
OBoile is offline  
Old 09-14-22, 03:20 PM
  #49  
ralphs
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Northwest of Boston
Posts: 51

Bikes: 2001 Trek 7200, GT Avalanche, and more

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked 49 Times in 21 Posts
A few ramblings:
I'm an advocate for making sure you're as visible as possible when biking. Bright colored clothing, front and rear lights for me.
Whie not mandated (yet), it's incumbent on me to use common sense. I've seen walkers, runners, and bicyclists wearing dark clothing at dusk (or even at night). I also don't understand why walkers don't use the sidewalks in my neighborhood (day or night), but that's a question for other forums.
Now if we could only get drivers to get the earbuds out (and phones out of their hands), things would get even safer. Locally, MA and NH have "hands free" laws. Nobody seems to have gotten that memo.
The "earbuds/ phone comment goes for walkers, runners, and bicyclists, too. My personal observation is that more than 3/4 of the walkers and runners on the local bike path cannot hear a thing going on around them.
I'm also a motorcyclist (since the late 70s), and I remember when DRLs were first mandated for cars. Various motorcycle groups were worried that they would no longer stand out, since every vehicle would now have lights on. I think to some extent that is true.
ralphs is offline  
Old 09-14-22, 04:47 PM
  #50  
Mtracer
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Location: Albuquerque NM USA
Posts: 80
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Liked 38 Times in 29 Posts
I'd have to see the results of a well designed study showing lights as a detrimental, before I would believe they were. Modern daytime lights are very bright and can literally be seen for a mile or more. I'm confident they make me easier to see and therefore safer. Do, I have a well designed study to prove this, no. But some common sense can be applied. Almost no one runs into something they can see and otherwise avoid (except my daughter, who parks using the braille technique).

I'd say easily 99+% of vehicles coming up behind me make some effort to give me more room when passing. I doubt the few, that don't give me more room, are because they didn't see me. Rather, they just don't think it is necessary to give me more room. And of course, some people are just idiots. After all, plenty of people in cars hit other cars.

I use a bright flasher in the front and a reasonably bright rear in the Garmin radar unit. I also almost always wear a hi-viz yellow jersey and socks. I think my white helmet is pretty easy to see as well.

Does this mean all drivers will notice me all the time? Of course not, it's very common for drivers to only see the things they are used to seeing where they are used to seeing them. I.E., other vehicles. We all are like this. It's the way our brains work to maximize efficiency. This of course is why it's helpful as cyclist to ride in predictable ways. When I can, I'll claim a lane to put myself in the line of sight of a car on a side street that might cut me off. They are used to looking for cars that are in the lane, not for a cyclist on a shoulder. This is also why a bright, flashing light or cloths will at least increase the chance a driver notices me.

Simply put, emergency vehicles uses flashing lights to be more noticeable. I'm sure the same principle can be applied to cyclists.
Mtracer is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.