Using High Beams For Safety

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Unread post by TrueFaith » Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:24 pm

I don't think there's any way a motorcycle will ever present the same frontal profile area as a car, no matter how many accessory lights are added. Bikes ride on two wheels as opposed to four and will always appear smaller and more inconspicuous to an oncoming 4-wheeled driver. So small, in fact, that many drivers continue to state "I didn't see him" after abruptly turning into the bike's path. Anything that makes you more noticeable on the road is a good thing. High beams during the day is one way to accomplish that. I would much rather deal with the possibility of "target fixation", which must be statistically smaller.
I don't recall a lot of motorcycle accidents being blamed on "I couldn't stop looking at that bright light, so I hit him". I do know that far too many are the result of the driver saying "I never saw him".

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Unread post by Skier » Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:49 am

TrueFaith wrote:I don't think there's any way a motorcycle will ever present the same frontal profile area as a car, no matter how many accessory lights are added. Bikes ride on two wheels as opposed to four and will always appear smaller and more inconspicuous to an oncoming 4-wheeled driver. So small, in fact, that many drivers continue to state "I didn't see him" after abruptly turning into the bike's path. Anything that makes you more noticeable on the road is a good thing. High beams during the day is one way to accomplish that. I would much rather deal with the possibility of "target fixation", which must be statistically smaller.
I don't recall a lot of motorcycle accidents being blamed on "I couldn't stop looking at that bright light, so I hit him". I do know that far too many are the result of the driver saying "I never saw him".
There's a difference between the same frontal area of a car and one of a single headlight motorcycle. You can improve your "size" with extra lights.

The hope is by presenting a driver with a much larger target, their brain will not automatically dismiss the object as too far away or too slow to be a threat. The single motorcycle headlight doesn't offer an easy target to judge speed or distance, so most motorists subconsciously throw the information away. Even if you aim the same size headlight right at them, this will happen. However, presenting an out of the ordinary profile with extra running lights can jar the motorist into taking another look or having it break through their "autopilot" mental filters.

I don't think target fixation is a direct cause of many accidents, but it can add another factor to already dangerous situations.
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Unread post by ofblong » Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:08 am

Skier wrote:
TrueFaith wrote:I don't think there's any way a motorcycle will ever present the same frontal profile area as a car, no matter how many accessory lights are added. Bikes ride on two wheels as opposed to four and will always appear smaller and more inconspicuous to an oncoming 4-wheeled driver. So small, in fact, that many drivers continue to state "I didn't see him" after abruptly turning into the bike's path. Anything that makes you more noticeable on the road is a good thing. High beams during the day is one way to accomplish that. I would much rather deal with the possibility of "target fixation", which must be statistically smaller.
I don't recall a lot of motorcycle accidents being blamed on "I couldn't stop looking at that bright light, so I hit him". I do know that far too many are the result of the driver saying "I never saw him".
There's a difference between the same frontal area of a car and one of a single headlight motorcycle. You can improve your "size" with extra lights.

The hope is by presenting a driver with a much larger target, their brain will not automatically dismiss the object as too far away or too slow to be a threat. The single motorcycle headlight doesn't offer an easy target to judge speed or distance, so most motorists subconsciously throw the information away. Even if you aim the same size headlight right at them, this will happen. However, presenting an out of the ordinary profile with extra running lights can jar the motorist into taking another look or having it break through their "autopilot" mental filters.

I don't think target fixation is a direct cause of many accidents, but it can add another factor to already dangerous situations.
People pull out in front of Jeeps for the same reason they pull out in front of motorcycles. They looked further than they really were and jeeps have 2 huge headlights compared to motorcycles. So I dont see how your idea of more lights works. The problem with Jeeps are the lights are close together (though further apart than any extra lighting you would be able to add to a motorcycle) rather than far apart.
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Unread post by Skier » Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:24 pm

ofblong wrote:
Skier wrote:
TrueFaith wrote:I don't think there's any way a motorcycle will ever present the same frontal profile area as a car, no matter how many accessory lights are added. Bikes ride on two wheels as opposed to four and will always appear smaller and more inconspicuous to an oncoming 4-wheeled driver. So small, in fact, that many drivers continue to state "I didn't see him" after abruptly turning into the bike's path. Anything that makes you more noticeable on the road is a good thing. High beams during the day is one way to accomplish that. I would much rather deal with the possibility of "target fixation", which must be statistically smaller.
I don't recall a lot of motorcycle accidents being blamed on "I couldn't stop looking at that bright light, so I hit him". I do know that far too many are the result of the driver saying "I never saw him".
There's a difference between the same frontal area of a car and one of a single headlight motorcycle. You can improve your "size" with extra lights.

The hope is by presenting a driver with a much larger target, their brain will not automatically dismiss the object as too far away or too slow to be a threat. The single motorcycle headlight doesn't offer an easy target to judge speed or distance, so most motorists subconsciously throw the information away. Even if you aim the same size headlight right at them, this will happen. However, presenting an out of the ordinary profile with extra running lights can jar the motorist into taking another look or having it break through their "autopilot" mental filters.

I don't think target fixation is a direct cause of many accidents, but it can add another factor to already dangerous situations.
People pull out in front of Jeeps for the same reason they pull out in front of motorcycles. They looked further than they really were and jeeps have 2 huge headlights compared to motorcycles. So I dont see how your idea of more lights works. The problem with Jeeps are the lights are close together (though further apart than any extra lighting you would be able to add to a motorcycle) rather than far apart.
This is the first I have heard about it. Can you link to your sources, please?
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Unread post by ofblong » Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:57 am

Skier wrote:
ofblong wrote:
Skier wrote:
TrueFaith wrote:I don't think there's any way a motorcycle will ever present the same frontal profile area as a car, no matter how many accessory lights are added. Bikes ride on two wheels as opposed to four and will always appear smaller and more inconspicuous to an oncoming 4-wheeled driver. So small, in fact, that many drivers continue to state "I didn't see him" after abruptly turning into the bike's path. Anything that makes you more noticeable on the road is a good thing. High beams during the day is one way to accomplish that. I would much rather deal with the possibility of "target fixation", which must be statistically smaller.
I don't recall a lot of motorcycle accidents being blamed on "I couldn't stop looking at that bright light, so I hit him". I do know that far too many are the result of the driver saying "I never saw him".
There's a difference between the same frontal area of a car and one of a single headlight motorcycle. You can improve your "size" with extra lights.

The hope is by presenting a driver with a much larger target, their brain will not automatically dismiss the object as too far away or too slow to be a threat. The single motorcycle headlight doesn't offer an easy target to judge speed or distance, so most motorists subconsciously throw the information away. Even if you aim the same size headlight right at them, this will happen. However, presenting an out of the ordinary profile with extra running lights can jar the motorist into taking another look or having it break through their "autopilot" mental filters.

I don't think target fixation is a direct cause of many accidents, but it can add another factor to already dangerous situations.
People pull out in front of Jeeps for the same reason they pull out in front of motorcycles. They looked further than they really were and jeeps have 2 huge headlights compared to motorcycles. So I dont see how your idea of more lights works. The problem with Jeeps are the lights are close together (though further apart than any extra lighting you would be able to add to a motorcycle) rather than far apart.
This is the first I have heard about it. Can you link to your sources, please?
did you not read what I said???? I grew up riding in jeeps and its common knowledge in all jeep forums that this is the case. I have seen it many many many times where people pull out because we "appeared" further than we were. Most jeep accidents I have seen been to the person who caused it said "they looked further away". I dont need a source for something I have seen and witnessed with my own eyes many times over. You dont want to believe it thats not my problem.
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Unread post by TrueFaith » Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:56 am

ofblonng,
So you're saying that because a Jeep's headlights are closer together than most cars, this gets transmitted to an oncoming driver as the Jeep appearing farther away? That makes sense considering how inattentive cagers are in the first place and how they only rely on an abrupt glance to completely size up a traffic situation before committing. If that's the case, then I imagine this problem is specific to Jeep CJs and not to other models like a Cherokee Chief or Liberty. Interesting.

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Unread post by Skier » Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:28 am

ofblong wrote:
Skier wrote:
ofblong wrote:
Skier wrote:
TrueFaith wrote:I don't think there's any way a motorcycle will ever present the same frontal profile area as a car, no matter how many accessory lights are added. Bikes ride on two wheels as opposed to four and will always appear smaller and more inconspicuous to an oncoming 4-wheeled driver. So small, in fact, that many drivers continue to state "I didn't see him" after abruptly turning into the bike's path. Anything that makes you more noticeable on the road is a good thing. High beams during the day is one way to accomplish that. I would much rather deal with the possibility of "target fixation", which must be statistically smaller.
I don't recall a lot of motorcycle accidents being blamed on "I couldn't stop looking at that bright light, so I hit him". I do know that far too many are the result of the driver saying "I never saw him".
There's a difference between the same frontal area of a car and one of a single headlight motorcycle. You can improve your "size" with extra lights.

The hope is by presenting a driver with a much larger target, their brain will not automatically dismiss the object as too far away or too slow to be a threat. The single motorcycle headlight doesn't offer an easy target to judge speed or distance, so most motorists subconsciously throw the information away. Even if you aim the same size headlight right at them, this will happen. However, presenting an out of the ordinary profile with extra running lights can jar the motorist into taking another look or having it break through their "autopilot" mental filters.

I don't think target fixation is a direct cause of many accidents, but it can add another factor to already dangerous situations.
People pull out in front of Jeeps for the same reason they pull out in front of motorcycles. They looked further than they really were and jeeps have 2 huge headlights compared to motorcycles. So I dont see how your idea of more lights works. The problem with Jeeps are the lights are close together (though further apart than any extra lighting you would be able to add to a motorcycle) rather than far apart.
This is the first I have heard about it. Can you link to your sources, please?
did you not read what I said???? I grew up riding in jeeps and its common knowledge in all jeep forums that this is the case. I have seen it many many many times where people pull out because we "appeared" further than we were. Most jeep accidents I have seen been to the person who caused it said "they looked further away". I dont need a source for something I have seen and witnessed with my own eyes many times over. You dont want to believe it thats not my problem.
I have anecdotal evidence of 99% of sports bike riders go down at least once a season. It doesn't make it true for all sports bike riders, just my sample group.

Assuming your premise is correct, it's a similar issue with motorcycles: a single headlight can give the appearance of two headlights a very long distance away. The average driver's brain will throw the information of an incoming object away because it thinks it's too far away to be a threat. In my opinion, this problem can be exacerbated by using a highbeam, even during the day: You are "hiding" part of your bike's size by jamming more bright light into other motorists' eyes. It's tough to determine the size of an object when there are very bright lights pointed at you from it.
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Unread post by jonnythan » Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:14 am

The idea that brighter lights "hides" your bike is stupid.

The problem is that the cagers just don't see us. Shining a brighter light at them makes a larger percentage of them aware of my existence.

End of story. I use my highbeams in the day.
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Unread post by Johnj » Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:49 am

jonnythan wrote:The idea that brighter lights "hides" your bike is stupid.

The problem is that the cagers just don't see us. Shining a brighter light at them makes a larger percentage of them aware of my existence.

End of story. I use my highbeams in the day.
In that case why don't you get an aircraft landing light. Those puppies put out a lot more light than any high beam. :roll:
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Unread post by jonnythan » Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:03 pm

Johnj wrote:
jonnythan wrote:The idea that brighter lights "hides" your bike is stupid.

The problem is that the cagers just don't see us. Shining a brighter light at them makes a larger percentage of them aware of my existence.

End of story. I use my highbeams in the day.
In that case why don't you get an aircraft landing light. Those puppies put out a lot more light than any high beam. :roll:
1) It's illegal.

2) My bike's electrical system is so weak it can't even handle a pair of driving lights on a light bar ;)
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Unread post by Skier » Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:32 pm

jonnythan wrote:
Johnj wrote:
jonnythan wrote:The idea that brighter lights "hides" your bike is stupid.

The problem is that the cagers just don't see us. Shining a brighter light at them makes a larger percentage of them aware of my existence.

End of story. I use my highbeams in the day.
In that case why don't you get an aircraft landing light. Those puppies put out a lot more light than any high beam. :roll:
1) It's illegal.

2) My bike's electrical system is so weak it can't even handle a pair of driving lights on a light bar ;)
Using your highbeam during daytime is also illegal in some states so you only have the other excuse. ;)

As for a motorcycle being "hidden" by a very bright light, I haven't found anything more than anecdotal evidence either way.

The idea of brighter lights not hiding your bike is stupid.

What now? :P

On a more serious note, it's the difference in brightness from the motorcycle body and the highbeam. The same difference in brightness that prevents you from seeing what kind of car is aimed at you at night: all you can see are the headlights and nothing behind them.

I have yet to come across information showing the difference in brightness would be a problem or not in daylight and highbeam scenarios.

To sum up my position, I have found no evidence a highbeam during daytime improves visibility. Your bike's electrical system could be better utilized by making your motorcycle appear bigger and "breaking through" the mental filters of motorists.
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Unread post by ofblong » Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:04 pm

TrueFaith wrote:ofblonng,
So you're saying that because a Jeep's headlights are closer together than most cars, this gets transmitted to an oncoming driver as the Jeep appearing farther away? That makes sense considering how inattentive cagers are in the first place and how they only rely on an abrupt glance to completely size up a traffic situation before committing. If that's the case, then I imagine this problem is specific to Jeep CJs and not to other models like a Cherokee Chief or Liberty. Interesting.
yes I dont consider cherokee's a jeep but an suv. So I am talking about cj types etc etc where the lights are very close together. Good job deducing what I was talking about :D.
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Unread post by Skier » Sat Mar 22, 2008 1:46 pm

ofblong, I'm still waiting for something more concrete than anecdotal evidence. Spouting stories, secondhand knowledge and making personal attacks only weaken your position.
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Unread post by Johnj » Sat Mar 22, 2008 2:01 pm

jonnythan wrote:I always do it during the day, and will continue to do it whether it's legal or not.
jonnythan wrote:
Johnj wrote:
jonnythan wrote:The idea that brighter lights "hides" your bike is stupid.

The problem is that the cagers just don't see us. Shining a brighter light at them makes a larger percentage of them aware of my existence.

End of story. I use my highbeams in the day.
In that case why don't you get an aircraft landing light. Those puppies put out a lot more light than any high beam. :roll:
1) It's illegal.

2) My bike's electrical system is so weak it can't even handle a pair of driving lights on a light bar ;)
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Unread post by ceemes » Sat Mar 22, 2008 3:17 pm

jonnythan wrote:The idea that brighter lights "hides" your bike is stupid.

The problem is that the cagers just don't see us. Shining a brighter light at them makes a larger percentage of them aware of my existence.

End of story. I use my highbeams in the day.
Same, and I still ride as if the bike had a Romulan Cloaking Device engaged.
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Unread post by Teek » Sat Mar 22, 2008 5:17 pm

Ditto. If my high beam aggravates my buddy riding in staggered formation several lengths in front of me, then he's obviously more aware I'm there, which makes me think probably drivers coming the other way could also potentially be more aware I'm there. But I still ride like they can't see me. :|
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Unread post by ofblong » Sat Mar 22, 2008 6:37 pm

Skier wrote:ofblong, I'm still waiting for something more concrete than anecdotal evidence. Spouting stories, secondhand knowledge and making personal attacks only weaken your position.
I never attacked you so that right there kinda makes you look stupid yourself. as for the rest its common sense as well as common knowledge.

http://www.jeepsunlimited.com/forums/sh ... ?p=8285702

bout halfway down someone stated same thing.

may I also suggest you read

http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story. ... =3/11/2008

this talks about the RPI reports. Easily found with GOOGLE like I told you to do because to me its common sense.
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Unread post by Skier » Sat Mar 22, 2008 8:37 pm

ofblong wrote:
Skier wrote:ofblong, I'm still waiting for something more concrete than anecdotal evidence. Spouting stories, secondhand knowledge and making personal attacks only weaken your position.
I never attacked you so that right there kinda makes you look stupid yourself. as for the rest its common sense as well as common knowledge.

http://www.jeepsunlimited.com/forums/sh ... ?p=8285702

bout halfway down someone stated same thing.

may I also suggest you read

http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story. ... =3/11/2008

this talks about the RPI reports. Easily found with GOOGLE like I told you to do because to me its common sense.
Your response, quoted below, sure appears to be an attack on anyone not "deducing" what you were trying to explain:
ofblong wrote:
TrueFaith wrote:ofblonng,
So you're saying that because a Jeep's headlights are closer together than most cars, this gets transmitted to an oncoming driver as the Jeep appearing farther away? That makes sense considering how inattentive cagers are in the first place and how they only rely on an abrupt glance to completely size up a traffic situation before committing. If that's the case, then I imagine this problem is specific to Jeep CJs and not to other models like a Cherokee Chief or Liberty. Interesting.
yes I dont consider cherokee's a jeep but an suv. So I am talking about cj types etc etc where the lights are very close together. Good job deducing what I was talking about :D.
I am afraid I am not buying your common sense and common knowledge statements. The forum link you provided backed up my argument of trying to make a motorcycle appear bigger with a light triangle:
As for marker lights showing the vehicle width, make your turn signals into running lights if they're not that way already, and add 5 amber lights on top of the windshield.


The problem with the TJ is the headlights are so close together that people think it's either a very small vehicle or very far away.
Same problem with bikes, same solution: make your vehicle appear as large as possible.

The second link you sent has an appropriate section:
"Research from the University of Granada in Spain showed that people do tend to misestimate the vehicle distances for vehicles with closely or distantly spaced headlights in clear weather at night," Bullough said. "Fog or snow will certainly complicate things further."
Most motorcycles fall into this same category with either a single light or two closely mounted lights. Cranking up the brightness isn't going to help!

Two more notes: the first instance of "Google" in this thread is the quote starting this post and you really, really need to brush up on your English skills: "its" is possessive and "it's" is short for "it is." I find it hard to believe things are "common knowledge" or "common sense" when someone doesn't have the "common sense" of a grade schooler.

There, now that is a personal attack.
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Unread post by ofblong » Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:09 am

lol ok grade school idiot. its easier to right its than it's so I wrote its and its to me has always been the same as it is. I dont need to know proper english for my line of work as a MECHANIC so why dont you go crawl into the hole you came from cause your not helping anyone with this thread. I proved you wrong and now your pissed. boohoo
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Unread post by Skier » Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:27 am

ofblong wrote:lol ok grade school idiot. its easier to right its than it's so I wrote its and its to me has always been the same as it is. I dont need to know proper english for my line of work as a MECHANIC so why dont you go crawl into the hole you came from cause your not helping anyone with this thread. I proved you wrong and now your pissed. boohoo
I am going to assume you didn't read anything I posted. Instead, you skimmed it and responded to what you thought I wrote. If you want to respond to the points I brought up instead of dismissing them offhand, I am willing to continue the discussion.
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