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Would more lights on bike enhance safety?

Old 11-17-21, 11:46 AM
  #51  
Maelochs
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Some drivers slow down when dazzled by bright lights that hinder their vision. Some just speed on through hoping they miss whatever is impairing their view of the road.
Yeah ... this is why my patented "Eye-piercer" multiple laser array didn't sell, I guess.
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Old 11-17-21, 11:52 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I don't know of any studies of this, but I find that if the two flashing lights are facing me, the interference of the two blinking patterns with each other can be blinding and disorienting, especially if they're both bright white. It plays havoc with your pupils, that's for sure..
Yeah .... well, as far as I know it is illegal and unwise to aim a white light back .... the reason being that red lights are supposed to indicate the rear of the vehicle.

I actually like two tail lights out of synch on the back in very high-traffic, highly dynamic areas--(lots of lane-switching, driveways, side streets, where cars can be going almost randomly along the road---think of stretches of roadways between multiple major shopping centers at Christmas ..... )..... and Not two strobes, because I really don't want to be causing epileptic fits.
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Old 11-17-21, 12:03 PM
  #53  
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Even cars are getting crazy with the vast array of lighting on the rear and front.

Here in the USA, NHTSA for a long time remains too quiet and complacent about dealing with this. Maybe it's time to wake them up with some emails and letters.

https://www.nhtsa.gov/about-nhtsa/contact-us
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Old 11-17-21, 12:38 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Rstyle View Post
As I read about close calls with cars on this forum and had 3 friends in serious accidents in the past 15 months, I am starting to worry more about safety and getting a little paranoid
I use bright colors and flashing lights in front and back but was wondering if there is any benefit (or any studies) to having 2 red flashing lights in the back.
One under the seat and maybe another in the lower part of the seat stay on the road side. Does anybody do this?
Seems to me that if I am driving and see one light I think bike......but if I see 2 flashing lights, I would be wondering what the heck is that.....and pay more attention.

Probably makes no difference if the driver of the car is on the phone texting............ Just looking for ways to improve my chances!
Once you have enough to be seen (the ACP requires lights that can be seen 100 meters in front of the bike, and 150 meters behind the bike, at minimum), I figure you get into diminishing returns pretty quickly with additional lights. After that point, it's on you to be vigilant of approaching traffic and to be ready to get out of the way if necessary. No amount of lights will guarantee your safety, but fancy lights can absolutely give you a false sense of security.

Just speaking for myself, I find lots of bike lights irritating. Cars don't need retina-frying brightness or hyperactive blinking modes to be seen, so I don't buy that we need it either. Healthy brightness, a good beam battern, and proper mounting will do about as much as is necessary to show that you're there.

If you're still convinced that you need a blinking light, it's good to pair it with a solid light to make your location absolutely clear. My old Axiom Flashpoint taillight had a great mode where one LED was solidly on and another two blinked. Since Axiom seems to have gotten out of making bike lights, I don't know who offers something like that now.
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Last edited by ThermionicScott; 11-17-21 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 11-17-21, 01:54 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Yeah .... well, as far as I know it is illegal and unwise to aim a white light back .... the reason being that red lights are supposed to indicate the rear of the vehicle.

I actually like two tail lights out of synch on the back in very high-traffic, highly dynamic areas--(lots of lane-switching, driveways, side streets, where cars can be going almost randomly along the road---think of stretches of roadways between multiple major shopping centers at Christmas ..... )..... and Not two strobes, because I really don't want to be causing epileptic fits.

TBH, I forgot OP was asking about red lights. Two blinking, not strobing reds may be ok, but I'm not surer one blinking, one solid might not be better. Probably no way of definitively answering that, but either sounds pretty good to me.
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Old 11-17-21, 02:22 PM
  #56  
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In addition to a front facing headlamp (steady light) and rear facing taillight (low beam with bright blink interruptions), I also run a rear facing red steady lower down the seat tube, and another white light attached to the stem and pointing downward. The second red light is aimed at the front of the rear fender and cannot be seen from behind the bike. The other white light is aimed at the top of the front fender and also illuminates the ground slightly on both sides of my front wheel.
The purpose of these additional lights is to improve the chances of being seen from the side, as most of my close calls happen to be from drivers pulling out from side streets and parking lots. The lights seem to help quite a bit, and with the bike frame itself being illuminated from the reflections, I think other road users can more easily identify me as a bicycle and not just some random blinking lights.
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Old 11-17-21, 02:37 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
TBH, I forgot OP was asking about red lights. Two blinking, not strobing reds may be ok, but I'm not surer one blinking, one solid might not be better. Probably no way of definitively answering that, but either sounds pretty good to me.
One of my lights has a steady-with-flash option .... I agree one solid one flashing is probably optimal ... but as a rule I only run one light unless I am in really crazy city traffic, which I don't do much any more.
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Old 11-17-21, 02:37 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by SalsaShark View Post
In addition to a front facing headlamp (steady light) and rear facing taillight (low beam with bright blink interruptions), I also run a rear facing red steady lower down the seat tube, and another white light attached to the stem and pointing downward. The second red light is aimed at the front of the rear fender and cannot be seen from behind the bike. The other white light is aimed at the top of the front fender and also illuminates the ground slightly on both sides of my front wheel.
The purpose of these additional lights is to improve the chances of being seen from the side, as most of my close calls happen to be from drivers pulling out from side streets and parking lots. The lights seem to help quite a bit, and with the bike frame itself being illuminated from the reflections, I think other road users can more easily identify me as a bicycle and not just some random blinking lights.
I do something similar when wanting maximum visibility on tour at night.

One steady white out front for seeing, another white strobe pointed down at the ground. This creates a pool of light on the pavement that is noticeable but not blinding.

on the rear I have one steady red on the rack and a smaller blinky on the left handlebar end. That way a car gives enough room to pass and not clip me.

Commuting I have one red blinker on the rear and one white strobe facing forward, but slightly downward, so as to be seen but not blind oncoming traffic.

As a driver, as well as a cyclist, I don't have to guess at what works. I just take note of what works for others. A forward pointed strobe, aimed low never bothers me. I am also never tempted to drive into the back of a red blinking bike. That is probably a sign of distraction and not hypnosis.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 11-17-21 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 11-17-21, 02:45 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
This is why I will only ride with a trio of lighting drones illuminating me from three overhead angles.
That might work too. You wouldn't just be seen as unidentfiable blinking lights in the dark, but with your body illuminated, you'd identifiable as a cyclist.
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Old 11-17-21, 03:26 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
That might work too. You wouldn't just be seen as unidentfiable blinking lights in the dark, but with your body illuminated, you'd identifiable as a cyclist.
If it makes the driver behind you think that they're about to witness a cyclist getting beamed up to a UFO, it just might encourage them to give you some space.
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Old 11-17-21, 08:54 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Rstyle View Post
As I read about close calls with cars on this forum and had 3 friends in serious accidents in the past 15 months, I am starting to worry more about safety and getting a little paranoid
I use bright colors and flashing lights in front and back but was wondering if there is any benefit (or any studies) to having 2 red flashing lights in the back.
One under the seat and maybe another in the lower part of the seat stay on the road side. Does anybody do this?
Seems to me that if I am driving and see one light I think bike......but if I see 2 flashing lights, I would be wondering what the heck is that.....and pay more attention.

Probably makes no difference if the driver of the car is on the phone texting............ Just looking for ways to improve my chances!
I commuted year round in a suburban/urban mix of Annapolis. I became aware of two things, people my age can have failing eyesight and I donít have the siuational awareness I had in my 30ís. I was getting lots of daytime near misses I went to daytime running lights but the biggest difference is a bright bright vest, or jacket. It helped at night as well. Going nuts with lights can be as irritating to others as a lifted pickup w blazimg light bars on. Itís irritating and unneccessary. I used helmet mounted headlight and tailight and bike mounted headlight and tailight.
Cycling in Oregon at night I was crashed into by a running teenager in a very well lit street and I had a very bright headlamp on. I was also dressed in dark colors. Blinding drivers with lights displays the wrong attitude for shared space. Sure put on bight lights no excuse not too but emulate other vehicles on the road not emergency strobe beacons like a sinking ship or helicopter running lights.
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Old 11-17-21, 09:19 PM
  #62  
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The most important safety feature is your brain and situational awareness. However...

I ride with one very bright light in random blinker mode in the rear and a really bright light in blinker mode on the front. I also wear hot yellow jersey or vest and hot yellow socks with reflective strips on the back. I don't ride in the dark or in heavy traffic.

However, my two most important safety features are my situational awareness and my Take-a-Look rear-view mirror. I am anal when it comes to what's going on around me, front, rear and sides. I DO NOT depend on "things" to keep me safe. I depend on ME keeping me safe. My head is always on a swivel looking for potential threats, always.

In the last month I have avoided two collisions with cars because I anticipated what the driver was going to do and braked accordingly. It doesn't happen often but it does happen.

Look for it, anticipate it and react accordingly without hesitation. Do not lose focus and go into yahyah land when riding.
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Old 11-18-21, 03:00 AM
  #63  
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Absolutely use lights, day or night.
Articles discussing the merits of lights:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22884376/

https://cyclingtips.com/2017/02/see-...unning-lights/

https://floridacyclinglaw.com/blog/d...-help-cyclists

I ride motos too and the high beam is on during the day. Yes, it works.
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Old 11-18-21, 01:20 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
As a driver, I find that flashing lights can cause more trouble than they help if they're not done right. Rear red gets to be a problem if you have lights flashing at a high rate--it interferes with the ability to determine where you are and where you're going, especially if it's coupled with another flashing light.

One solid red and a relatively slow blink rate on another seems to work pretty well. Fast strobing makes no sense to me whatsoever either on front or back. I don't believe it really is significantly more effective at
drawing attention, and it just adds an element of confusion. Confused drivers make big mistakes.
I agree. I have one large red light on my rack, it is a German light, and they don't allow a flashing light, so it is always on. I have a Superflash mounted under the seat, and during the day I will set it to flash, but not at night. At night it is set to be always on. Much less annoying to drivers, and much less apt for them to fixate on and inadvertently run into me.
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Old 11-20-21, 08:41 PM
  #65  
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I donít use any lights at all and never get close to being hit. Be aware of your surroundings.
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Old 11-21-21, 06:30 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by das8929 View Post
I donít use any lights at all and never get close to being hit. Be aware of your surroundings.
Well sure .... anybody who sees you would certainly get as far away from you as possible ... "That guy obviously has no respect for his own life, for sure he doesn't care about anyone else's."

You should ride drunk more often .... on the wrong side of the road, at night. Let's see how much "situational awareness" you really have. (Please get a few GoPros first.)
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Old 11-21-21, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by das8929 View Post
I donít use any lights at all and never get close to being hit. Be aware of your surroundings.
Rode into a pothole and popped my front tire that way once. Because my 90 lumen headlamp was too dim to see anything.
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Old 11-21-21, 11:05 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by das8929 View Post
I donít use any lights at all and never get close to being hit. Be aware of your surroundings.
says probably every future Darwin award winner...
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