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 Post subject: Headlights tip
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 12:23 
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The following Pistonheads thread reminded me of one of my tips that we have never discussed. http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topi ... 4&f=10&h=0 (requires free registration)

I recommend turning on your headlights when ONCOMING traffic is facing glare from the sun.

It's perfectly obvious when you think about it, but I've never seen it in print nor heard it from a trainer.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 12:31 
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So it recommends turning them on when the sun is low behind you? This is one of the reasons I strongly object to DRL on bikes - if you have the sun low behind you and a headlight on, you break up your silhouette making you HARDER to see.

Unless you're in an X5 with HIDS, your lights aren't going to be brighter than the glare from the sun, so all you're doing is effectively putting 2 holes in your shadow.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 14:04 
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Sixy_the_red wrote:
So it recommends turning them on when the sun is low behind you? This is one of the reasons I strongly object to DRL on bikes - if you have the sun low behind you and a headlight on, you break up your silhouette making you HARDER to see.


This is quite interesting:

http://jmrc.tripod.com/fa/stealth/stealth2.htm


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 14:09 
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With a bike I agree that such decisions are far less clear cut. If the sun is directly behind you then 'being a shadow' is the best you can hope for.

But it's actually extremely rare for the sun to be directly behind you.

A grey car against a grey road with the Sun off by, say, 5 or 10 degrees becomes pretty invisible and I know from experience that dipped headlights help a great deal. Relative to the sun the 'off-axis' position is dark...

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 Post subject: Re: Headlights tip
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 14:21 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
I recommend turning on your headlights when ONCOMING traffic is facing glare from the sun.


I think the exact opposite.

On the bike, bright sunshine is the only time I consider turning off my lights.

With the sun in your eyes and a vehicle approaching with lights on, it becomes almost impossible to judge distance and speed.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 14:36 
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Horse - very interesting.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 17:45 
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There is a difference here though.
While your lights make a hole in your shadow when the sun is directly BEHIND you, it is not so obvious anywhere to either side, and the lights become therefore become more effective.
The aircraft lights argument is also a bit off beam - you are down on the ground, not silhoueted against the sky. (pun not intended!)

However the whole argument hinges on the skill of the driver you are approaching, in interpreting what they see as a potential cause for greater attention. Too many would see the lights, and still take no notice whatsoever as usual. :oops:

I personally favour those bike riders who use a deep purple headlamp, as it is immediately obvious what it is... but I understand they are not universally appreciated. :oops:

It must be obvious to most of us here, (but not many other drivers on our roads apparently) that when you have the sun behind you, others are not going to detect your presence with quite the same ease, and you should be prepared for that. Equally, when travelling into low sun, I automatically increase the distance between my car and the one in front, AND take extra care when assessing the road ahead. :idea:

Edited to add : Hello HORSE, long time no see!! I should look in motorcycling more often! :roll:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 02:24 
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Mmmmm....Beware!

It could be the first stage of this:


"More and more European Countries are making the use of dipped headlights compulsory at all times - including: Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway, Slovenia and Sweden"...

Source:.....The Caravan Club magazine, Feb. 2007. Page: 40. er.......No not mine, it was lent to me ........ honest! :oops:

Sounds like a European objective to me........


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