debate invite: light/reflector safety

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by bluegoatwoods, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    I have a lot of experience with two wheels. And bad weather doesn't stop me.
    Especially during low visibility times I use lights, reflectors, flashers, etc. I think I've noticed, for a long time now, that if the various lights, etc are spread out too much over the surface of myself and my bike this has a tendency to "hypnotize" some cagers and even make them swerve at me.

    So my question is "is there such a thing as too much?"

    On a related subject (it's almost funny, but definitely irritating), have you ever noticed that many cagers go into a horrible panic when they encounter you in conditions that they don't expect to find bicyclists in? A good example would be a near-freezing November downpour.

    And, now that I think about it, there's nothing at all funny about it. "Irritating" is putting it mildly. "Enraging" is closer to the truth.

  2. turkeyssr

    turkeyssr Guest

    I'm not certain what you're wanting to debate. Yes, I agree some drivers are so stupid that they defy explanation. I was riding my pedal bike on Wednesday, and I pulled out with plenty of room, and proceeded to get honked at repeatedly by some guy for being in the middle of the lane, preparing to turn left. The light was red, so there was no need to be in a hurry. He passed me on the on ramp, so I flipped him the bird - couldn't help myself. I still don't understand why he got upset. Had I been a car, he wouldn't have been able to do anything, but because I was a bike in HIS way, I think he must have felt justified. I swear I want to start carrying a hammer.

    I guess I went off on a tangent, but the short story is you ALWAYS have to be careful and assume the cars are out to get you, unfortunately.

  3. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    A battery-powered hammer with flashing LEDs!!
  4. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    To be a bit more clear about it, I've developed the feeling ( a long time ago, really ) that if I have too many lights, reflectors and such on my bike and on me that this only manages to confuse the drivers. They're not sure just what they are looking at. They're not sure how far away we are and so on.

    To put it another way; some of my worst close-calls have happened when I've been lit up like a Las Vegas casino. I can't help the feeling that too many lights confuses the drivers. (Of course they should not be ramming into something that they don't understand. But wishing that they would take their responsibility behind the wheel seriously is like wishing for the Moon.)

    so I'm wondering if there is such a thing as too many lights. And is there an optimum number and arrangement?

    And though I called it a "debate", it's not that I expect to get the issue settled once-and-for-all. I'm just looking for opinions.
  5. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    I think it's this - when there's a lot of lights, and it's hard to make out what the object is, the driver tend to stare at the object, rather than the road. And, the steering wheel tend to follow the eyes.

    When I lived in New Hampshire, every fall the "leaf peepers" came out in droves. They drive slowly, "Oohing" and "Ahhing." And when they look to the left, they steer to the left, and when they look to the right they steer to the right... It's like they're driving a slalom on a straight road! It was REALLY annoying, if you got stuck behind them.
  6. Ypedal

    Ypedal Member

    Yeah.. i think car drivers get tunnel vision and focus on the lights.. and end up drifting in that direction.

    One.. red.. rear facing light.. and a very bright headlight should do the job nicely.. i'm equipping my bike with exactly that as i type this..
  7. Yea neon lighting you'll probably get killed.
    I don't ride at night.
    Cagers are scary enough during the day.

    You know when a cager see's a car accident,what happens?

    Yes. Traffic jam.

    That's the answer. Blood makeup all over you.

    Look like an accident victim and everyone will slow down around you!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2008
  8. Ozzie

    Ozzie New Member

    I havent had any experience as a "motoredbiker" yet (still gathering the bits to build one) but back in my Motorcycle days I found that if you are not as big as they (cagers) are you pose no "threat" to them and they ignore you. I tried reflectors of differing sizes and styles.. along with the headlamp and taillamp that was on my bike) nothing seemed to make a difference. My practice was.. treat every other motorist on the road as if they had the brains of a peanut. You are the only one on the road who knows whats going on. Always ride defensively and always assume the other guy is going to do something stupid. Worked for me
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2008
  9. fetor56

    fetor56 Guest

    Don't trust anyone & put yourself in minimum harms-way.
  10. What to do with those old Christmas lights?
    Get a battery...I would do my entire bike.
    It would RULE!

    Attached Files:

  11. Ypedal

    Ypedal Member

    Lol.. i have enough battery power on my bike to light up Chevy Chase's house like on Christmas Vacation !! :grin:

    Or maybe just a 1000w street light !!! that should get a car drivers attention.. Bit heavy on the handlebars tho..
  12. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    I agree with Loquin and Ypedal. A tail light that's bright enough for the cagers to see. A headlight that adequately lights your way.
  13. V 35

    V 35 Member

    Too bad car drivers aren't required to ride a motorcycle as part of their training,
    that would give them the road sense we take for granted.

    Yes, I think some car drivers are bullies, and a well lit bike becomes a ' target '
  14. Norm in Laguna

    Norm in Laguna New Member

    Refector Safety

    Here's the bottom line. All the study's have been done. Drunk Drivers will swerve at flashing lites. I had one driver killed and so did a friend of mine. I've stood by my Tow Truck, and watched a CHP car get rear-ended. They move to the lite. It's a fact.
    Ok, that being said, it is also very important to have a bike well lit at nite. The standard bike lights seem to work best and are the safest way to go. Too much is NOT a good thing with bikes. That's a fact. Nuff said.