There aught to be a law!

idleprocess

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The different and inconsistent lighting creates distraction and friction for comfortable driving.
Insofar as forward lighting color inconsistency goes - that ship has sailed. The market is gradually transitioning to LED and I expect that's the one hope for consistency in the future.

A good example of this would be christmas lights.
Funny you mention that. I find low-rate PWM (ala inexpensive LED Christmas lights) to be a discomfort bordering on distraction. For whatever reason (probably saving a cent or so per controller) the automakers have decided that ~120Hz is good enough for tail lights, which will created visual flicker trails as one's eyes scan a scene.
 

theory816

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Insofar as forward lighting color inconsistency goes - that ship has sailed. The market is gradually transitioning to LED and I expect that's the one hope for consistency in the future.


Funny you mention that. I find low-rate PWM (ala inexpensive LED Christmas lights) to be a discomfort bordering on distraction. For whatever reason (probably saving a cent or so per controller) the automakers have decided that ~120Hz is good enough for tail lights, which will created visual flicker trails as one's eyes scan a scene.
I know it has sailed. But things were once tolerable when LED DRLs were not yet released. And quite frankly its never going to be consistent even if everyone switched to LEDs becuase now LED DRLs are used as a design statement, rather being a marker for conspicuity. Some DRLs are even fully yellow, like on the KIA K5.

I know the LEDs on cars are PWM but I've yet to see one that had a flickering problem. I've only seen the flickering on LED street lights .
 

idleprocess

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I know the LEDs on cars are PWM but I've yet to see one that had a flickering problem. I've only seen the flickering on LED street lights .
Inexpensive LED Christmas lights have seemingly settled on driving the strings with full-wave rectified AC (effectively 120Hz), which I can easily detect if I move my eyes (or even my head) at any appreciable angular speed across them. I perceive a similar phenomenon with many LED taillights when in low-output operating vs full-brightness braking mode. It's something you can learn to mostly filter out, but can still trigger the reflexive unexpected motion sense periodically.
 

jaycee88

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Its important to note that just because something does not cause an accident doesn't mean it doesn't cause driving discomfort(no one said that it causes accidents.). Many things don' cause accidents and arn't crucial from getting you to A and B. Its more about driving comfort. The different and inconsistent lighting creates distraction and friction for comfortable driving.

I agree that something that causes discomfort may not necessarily cause an accident.
(Note that kaichu did use the term 'worsening traffic safety' in a previous post. This seems to be implying that more accidents are occurring, as keeping track of accidents is the primary way of quantifying safety. If we for example say 'pedestrian safety is the lowest it's been for the past 10 years', how did we come to that conclusion? By looking at pedestrian injury and fatality statistics.)

I just disagree that the different types of DRL's necessarily creates distraction/discomfort, because it simply doesn't for me. I can only speak to my own experiences/feelings.
We can agree to disagree - comfort is subjective to a certain point, after all. Maybe my eyes are less sensitive than yours, or maybe I'm just more tolerant for whatever reason.
 

jaycee88

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I know it has sailed. But things were once tolerable when LED DRLs were not yet released. And quite frankly its never going to be consistent even if everyone switched to LEDs becuase now LED DRLs are used as a design statement, rather being a marker for conspicuity. Some DRLs are even fully yellow, like on the KIA K5.

Amber DRL's are allowed, as these are simply the front turn signals being used as DRL's. There weren't too many pre-LED turn signal DRL equipped cars sold in the U.S., though, not to my recollection. Some turn of the century Cadillacs, maybe?

Dodge Challenger is another that can have its turn signals function as DRL's.
 

theory816

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I agree that something that causes discomfort may not necessarily cause an accident.
(Note that kaichu did use the term 'worsening traffic safety' in a previous post. This seems to be implying that more accidents are occurring, as keeping track of accidents is the primary way of quantifying safety. If we for example say 'pedestrian safety is the lowest it's been for the past 10 years', how did we come to that conclusion? By looking at pedestrian injury and fatality statistics.)

I just disagree that the different types of DRL's necessarily creates distraction/discomfort, because it simply doesn't for me. I can only speak to my own experiences/feelings.
We can agree to disagree - comfort is subjective to a certain point, after all. Maybe my eyes are less sensitive than yours, or maybe I'm just more tolerant for whatever reason.
What do you consider is a nuisance or distraction when you drive?

I agree with you that some people may not see the DRLs as distracting, but I think its because people are already overcomed by the demanding action of driving to notice. I drive alot and so its easier for me to point out the problems. Inconsistency is noise.
 

idleprocess

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What do you consider is a nuisance or distraction when you drive?
Some nuisances that have some impact on my driving:
  • Brodozer lighting : Gratuitously lifted trucks sporting light bars at about rearview mirror level, headlights at about roofline height that are as intense as high beams within 100 yards, pods pods pods, and the aforementioned immense overly bright DRLs
  • Other lighting sins : HID kits + 'bay/'zon special PnP LED bulbs that spew glare in all directions but down and forward where it's needed, badly-adjusted headlights either doing the same as the former or trying really hard to give the pavement a tan
  • Ghost vehicles : DRLs only or no headlights whatsoever - hard to see, often driving quite badly
  • Tinted headlight lenses : No amount of additional output will overcome a tint that cuts something like >95% of output - and the look can be achieved by merely blacking out the interior
  • Obnoxious sound : Stereos pumping audio that would meter out to ~85dB while my windows are closed, gratuitously-loud exhausts / the loud pipes save lives crowd
Plenty of other things that annoy, draw attention, or represent some degree of hazard, but do not forcibly distract such as: demon eyes, halos, superfluous marker lights, slammed-to-the-ground vehicles, chariot wheels, underbody lighting, color-shifting paint / wraps, various colors of forward lighting, coal-rolling, my aforementioned strong distaste for PWM taillights, and countless other things.
 

kaichu dento

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…you haven't provided statistics to back up your assertion
Personally, DRL's don't bother me.
Pot calling the kettle black in perfect example of demanding stats from others, at the same time as posting their own opinion as something more valid than the ones of those they disagree with.

If you can't see any problems with the present situation then you're part of the problem.
 

jaycee88

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Pot calling the kettle black in perfect example of demanding stats from others, at the same time as posting their own opinion as something more valid than the ones of those they disagree with.

You were the one who first asserted 'worsening traffic safety', as if this were an objective fact. If it is, do you have studies or statistics backing this up? Likely not, as you'd have posted them already.
At no point did I post my opinion as more valid than others (if I did, please quote it). My opinion is just my opinion, based on my own experiences.
In fact, I'm trying to understand the opposing viewpoint, which is how theory816 and I are having a reasonable (at least I think so) discussion.

Now, if your 'worsening traffic safety' assertion was also just an opinion, that's fine, we can have different opinions.


If you can't see any problems with the present situation then you're part of the problem.

Now who's the pot calling the kettle black?
 
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jaycee88

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What do you consider is a nuisance or distraction when you drive?

A lot of what idleprocess posted above, but basically anything that pulls attention away from the task at hand (driving), while not serving any useful purpose.
I don't see different-looking DRL's as being a distraction, because the DRL's are on other vehicles, and being aware of DRL's means you're aware of the other vehicles, which is part of the task of driving.
Whether the DRL is a white LED, amber turn signal DRL, low beams, or low intensity high beams, ultimately the result is the same - I notice the vehicle more readily.
This is especially apparent in adverse conditions like an overcast sky, with a dark or grey colored vehicle. It makes judging the presence, position, and approach speed of the vehicle easier, which is important if I'm waiting to make a left turn, or if the vehicle starts veering into my lane.
 

theory816

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A lot of what idleprocess posted above, but basically anything that pulls attention away from the task at hand (driving), while not serving any useful purpose.
I don't see different-looking DRL's as being a distraction, because the DRL's are on other vehicles, and being aware of DRL's means you're aware of the other vehicles, which is part of the task of driving.
Whether the DRL is a white LED, amber turn signal DRL, low beams, or low intensity high beams, ultimately the result is the same - I notice the vehicle more readily.
This is especially apparent in adverse conditions like an overcast sky, with a dark or grey colored vehicle. It makes judging the presence, position, and approach speed of the vehicle easier, which is important if I'm waiting to make a left turn, or if the vehicle starts veering into my lane.
Well as explained before, mismatching DRLs create a visual noise while you are driving. It may not be dangerous problem, but it is annoying.
 

idleprocess

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This is especially apparent in adverse conditions like an overcast sky, with a dark or grey colored vehicle. It makes judging the presence, position, and approach speed of the vehicle easier, which is important if I'm waiting to make a left turn, or if the vehicle starts veering into my lane.
The collision (described end of post) I witnessed a few weeks ago may have been averted had the oncoming gray vehicle possessed DRLs.
 

kaichu dento

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You were the one who first asserted 'worsening traffic safety', as if this were an objective fact.
There were reasons for not having high beams on in the face of oncoming traffic, and now we have DRL's brighter and harsher than the already unadvisable high beams.

It is an objective fact that the more distraction you throw at other drivers the more dangerous you make the situation.
 

bshanahan14rulz

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There were reasons for not having high beams on in the face of oncoming traffic, and now we have DRL's brighter and harsher than the already unadvisable high beams.

Anecdotally, I second this; DRLs can be very blinding at night, just as much so as high beams. I see lots of people who don't know or don't care that they aren't even using their headlights at night, because their DRLs light up what's in front of them "good enough".

I wish it were a requirement that DRLs' brightness were dependent on current light conditions, rather than on whether or not the driver has turned their lights on. DRLs definitely have value, but just like anything else, misusing them can negate or even counteract that value.
 

bykfixer

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The other night on the commute home after a night shift a car approaching me had ridiculous bright lights. It was approaching at a rapid pace on a practically empty 3 lane interstate while I was in the right lane minding my own business.

Turns out it was one of those modern Mustangs modeled after a classic version that had fog lights between the headlights. The driver was going way faster than I was so I fliipped the rear view to night mode and covered the side mirror with my arm and waited for it to pass me. Then dude settles in behind me all tailgating-like. Ok then.

After a couple of miles I slowed way down, let the guy pass then fell in behind him with my brights on. He tried to speed off, which told me he was probably a dirty rotten scoundrel trying to be a wise-guy. My truck has a Raptor drive train so it has plenty of giddy-up-n-go. We wound up the speed as he tried to escape my wrath. (lol). At a point I just let off the gas and slowed down while the Mustang continued to pull away but I'm pretty sure he was annoyed by my lights in his back windshield for a minute or so. Soon after I reached my exit.

Ordinarily I don't seek revenge, yet it seemed pretty obvious the driver of the Mustang was trying to annoy the vehicle in front of him at 3am. If we'd been near an exit he wanted to turn off but didn't want to pass me then suddenly slown down. I'm ok with that. But we went past 2 exits while he was tailgating me, headlights on bright plus mega-bright fog lights. Uncool.
 
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Mr305WorldWide

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The other night on the commute home after a night shift a car approaching me had ridiculous bright lights. It was approaching at a rapid pace on a practically empty 3 lane interstate while I was in the right lane minding my own business.

Turns out it was one of those modern Mustangs modeled after a classic version that had fog lights between the headlights. The driver was going way faster than I was so I fliipped the rear view to night mode and covered the side mirror with my arm and waited for it to pass me. Then dude settles in behind me all tailgating-like. Ok then.

After a couple of miles I slowed wsy down, let the guy pass then fell in behind him with my brights on. He tried to speed off, which told me he was probably a dirty rotten scoundrel trying to be a wise-guy. My truck has a Raptor drive train so it has plenty of giddy-up-n-go. We wound up the speed as he tried to escape my wrath. (lol). At a point I just let off the gas and slowed down while the Mustang continued to pull away but I'm pretty sure he was annoyed by my lights in his back windshield for a minute or so. Soon after I reached my exit.

Ordinarily I don't seek revenge, yet it seemed pretty obvious the driver of the Mustang was trying to annoy the vehicle in front of him at 3am. If we'd been near an exit he wanted to turn off but didn't want to pass me then suddenly slown down. I'm ok with that. But we went past 2 exits while he was tailgating me, headlights on bright plus mega-bright fog lights. Uncool.
Some people are just weird like that. I was driving in the left lane once and some doofus passed me and cut into my lane very close because I was driving in the left lane instead of moving over to the right.
 

kaichu dento

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I wish it were a requirement that DRLs' brightness were dependent on current light conditions, rather than on whether or not the driver has turned their lights on. DRLs definitely have value, but just like anything else, misusing them can negate or even counteract that value.
They were very poorly implemented and should have, in addition to your points about auto brightness, for which the technology has existed for a very long time, all marker lights should be on as well once darkness approaches.
 

Lumalux

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Anecdotally, I second this; DRLs can be very blinding at night, just as much so as high beams. I see lots of people who don't know or don't care that they aren't even using their headlights at night, because their DRLs light up what's in front of them "good enough".

I wish it were a requirement that DRLs' brightness were dependent on current light conditions, rather than on whether or not the driver has turned their lights on. DRLs definitely have value, but just like anything else, misusing them can negate or even counteract that value.
Or a requirement that the headlight/running lights come on automatically with the onset of darkness, and can only be disabled with each start of the vehicle. I can't tell you how many people I see driving well after dark with no lights on whatsoever. I was on I-95 at about 10:00PM in very heavy traffic in Northern Virginia and a guy in a Honda Odyssey had NO LIGHTS ON WHATSOEVER. No headlights, no taillights. I pulled up next to him, honking and turning my headlights off and on repeatedly but he never got the message. This is so incredibly dangerous, especially from in front of him, because his vehicle was virtually invisible in my rearview mirror. I blame the manufacturers for this. Nissan Rogues and other Nissan models seem to be the worst offenders. I don't know if this says something about Nissans or about their drivers.
 
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