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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 19:30 
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Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 23:42
Posts: 3820
Another interesting letter in CW this week.

Chap from Norwich writes that his neighbour does not ride a bike and works as long distance lorry driver on night shifts. He commented to the author of the CW letter that he


Finds flashing lights childish and silly and prefers to see a continuous rear light on a bicycle.

Now this is interesting as our CW contributor opens up a what could be a good point for debate


His neighbour added that he finds he is drawn to flashing red rear lights when he is tired :yikes:

There is a certain amount of unpredictability witht he flashing mode. He is not sure where the next flash is going to come from :?

Another non cyclist driver I spoke to agrees with these comments.

One might suggest the drivers should not drive when tired - but this is a fact of life that there are many drivers out there who spend their working days behind the wheel of a car for their living.

Is the flashing mode of lights is perceived by [i[ cyclists themselves [/i] safer or is there any evidence to back up this perception

Indeed ...

Well :scratchchin:

Most of the accidents in the dark - NO lights at all.. :furious: DARK clothing as well :furious:

Have drivers who tell me they do not like the red rear flash and find it difficult to see as they appear a weaker red to them... but don't think we have any conclusive research one way or the other. Perhaps our cycling pals know of some papers? (And from a "proper" Uni PLEASE!)

Take with a chuckle or a grain of salt
Drive without COAST and it's all your own fault!

A SMILE is a curve that sets everything straight (P Diller).

A Smiley Per post

Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon - but driving with a smile and a COAST calm mind.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 20:49 
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Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 13:55
Posts: 2247
Location: middlish
my experience is that its difficullt to tell how far away a lighht is when looking directly at the light source, there's nothing to focus on.

if the light is on continuously you gain the advantage of an extra dimension, time, so you can track the light and gleen more information on where it is and where it's going.

certainly you can do this with a flashing light but if its off 50% of the time maybe it'll take twice as long to get the same confidence in the information.

i recall when i was younger cycling home through a park, where the yoof frequently gathered. it was just about light enough to follow the path and i knew where it went so i switched my lamp of to avoid attracting attention and charged down the path.

ahead of me i saw a small yellow LED light appear and then dissappear, i blinked a bit and sure enough it appeared and dissappeared again. i had no information from seeing the light how far away it was so on the two samples of seeing it i only had a bit of information on the headig of this lgiht source.

puzzled i switched my lamp ablazing to illuminate another cyclist coming head on the other way about 6ft off... he looked startled and fortunately we dived opposite directions and missed each other.

so i was silly and unilluminated, his LED lamp on flashing mode didn't help at all !
which is why i'm cautious about using flashing lights.

(admittedly LED lights have got alot better since then)

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 21:22 

Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 10:15
Posts: 318
Location: Co Durham
I can't quote evidence but as a cycling motorist I certainly notice a flashing rear light quicker than a steady one. What I mean is that my attention is drawn to the fact that there is a cyclist ahead who is unlikely to be travelling at more than 15 mph and who I will need to pass safely giving plenty of room.
Observation as a cyclist using a mirror indicates that my flashing LED rear light is working for me in the same way. A flashing front light also makes it less likely that I will be run down by an overtaking motorist.

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