“It is not what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It is what you know for sure that just is not so.” –Mark Twain
You may read this page with great curiosity right. You must wonder what do I mean in saying that your bicycle flashing light can kill you. It has been a common sense for a long time that it is indispensable for your bike to be equipped with a flashing light on its rear wheel. However, today I am going to tell you why and how your bicycle flashing light will put you into trouble or even kill you. You probably can’t wait to know. Take it easy, I will tell you to step by step to help you figure out the truth.
flashing bike light
Actually, the bicycling flashing light is equal to bicycle lighting. Bicycle lighting is illumination attached to bicycles whose purpose above all is, along with reflectors, to improve the visibility of the bicycle and its rider to other users under circumstances of poor ambient illumination, according to the Wikipedia. For years, bike flashing lights are employed in the name of safety. Of course, we must admit that bike flashing light does play a significantly vital role in many ways. Cycling in the dark is incredibly dangerous if no one can see you. Thus, in this case, your bike flashing light can help get you saw by others so as to avoid being hit. However, is it the whole story? Apparently, there is the other story on your bike flashing light.
flashing bike lightFirst of all, there is a little question that your bike flashing light can help you get noticed. In 2008, the Dutch Ministry of Transport, Public Works, and Water Management published a study of flashing and steady bike lights. They found that “In most cases, flicker raises the conspicuity of front lights.” But for the rear bike lights, they found that flashing, “does not contribute significantly to the conspicuity. And we know that bike flashing light is equipped in the rear of the bike.
Secondly, there is a little question on the safety that your bike flashing light can offer you. A 2001 study by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s lighting Research Center showed that flashing lights on the rear of a snowplow increased the snowplow’s conspicuity. However, it turns out drivers frequently crash into the back of snowplows, which means that your bike flashing light, to some extent, rather than protect you, it will put you into great troubles.
Thirdly, we all have our own acceptability on how flashing your bike light could be. Everyone’s personal comfort is different. For example, when set on flashing mode, the current generation of overly powerful headlights is well over what is before. So when your bike flashing light cause others discomfort, how could you make sure your safety?
If you still stick to your original idea that your bike flashing light help you get the safety at night, maybe it is a good chance for you to think about the rightness of your though. Here, I am goinflashing bike lightg to explain why your bike flashing light may kill you.
“The scariest thing about biking at night in Seattle is not the cellphone-jabbering SUV drivers or the bone-crunching potholes. It is not the slick mats of rain-sodden leaves waiting to turn unwary riders into convalescing ex-riders. It is not even the wheel-grabbing, rider-flipping streetcar tracks misplaced in the curb lanes on Westlake Avenue. It is another cyclists-specifically, their high-powered, strobing and flashing headlights, shining straight into the eyes of motorists and other cyclists or drivers, transfixing them with disco-ball distraction.” A Facebook user said.
Maybe many cyclists who enjoy equipping their bikes with illuminated lights will explain that they just want to be cool and help them get noticed to keep them in safety. However, what you don’t know is that when you stick to your cool and safety, others are sticking to you. Blinking lights lull drivers into target fixation, the tendency to stare at something that stands out and connect with it. Therefore, when a driver notices your bike flashing light, your chance of getting hit actually will be greater.
flashing bike light
When you are riding at night with your red taillight blinking, thinking you are safe because you are visible, a tired or drunk commuter in an SUV locks on to your flashing light, maybe thinking it is a distant car he should follow and turns his wheel ever so slightly to follow his tracking eyes. Highway patrol officers deal with this all the time. Their flashing roof lights are beacons in the night to drunks. Blinking lights lull drivers into target fixation, the tendency to stare at something that stands out and connect with it. Roberto Clemente used target fixation to hit baseballs, airplane pilots use it to steer their planes at night. To nobody’s surprise, it works. But in cycling, it is a double-edged sword, because you go where you look and so car drivers. When you are riding around a corn at high speed, aware of the ditch with your name on it, your look at the ditch the way you at anything dangerous, and looking at makes you steer toward it.
After hearing what I have said above, you may be still in a big shock, and can hardly believe that your little bike flashing can hurt or even kill you. Well, I regret to tell you though it is hard to believe, it is true. Therefore, watch out! Don’t let you flashing light blink. By keeping it on steady mode, don’t let yourself be other’s target. Especially at night, your flashing bike light in a way becomes the only indicator light for other drivers or cyclists, which will be extremely dangerous for you. Anyway, be careful all the time, always put your safety in the first place. As a cyclist, you must think twice before you do something because compared with drivers, a cyclist’s protection is far enough.