See and be seen - greenhey

It's at this time of the year, with twilight falling beofor 4pm,and increasing mist and sprau, that I am reminded of how badly many drivers deal with the need for lights-both to see and to be seen.

From about 3pm onwards I see many drivers go to parking lights rather than dipped beam, whether that is in town (where they may be legal, but to me, are insufficent) or even in rural areas. Some will only go to main beam in complete darkness.

Then of course we have the people to have fog lights on with main beam, and the (in my estimate) 10% or so with at least one defective light.

And increasingly we are seeing the drivers who have DRLs and think that's Ok until complete darkness. Do they not realise that DRLs don't include any rear lights? And come to think of it, why don't they?

See and be seen - scot22

Confess, I have DEL and until a few months ago, read on this forum, that it does not include rear. I wonder why not. The info needs highlighting in car details.

See and be seen - Bromptonaut

I've driven off with just the DRL's in the Berlingo.

They light the road in front so well that it's easy to mistake them for headlights. On that car the headlights go off with ignition and come back on when you start whereas DRL's come on at start up unless head lights are on. Thus you've always got lights showing way ahead. Only drove a few yards across a car park before twigging via lack of panel lights but it's easier than you think.

See and be seen - badbusdriver

One day last week i left the house at 0645, got round the corner and came up behind a transit taxi with no lights on. I followed him right to the outskirts of town, a distance of about 3 miles, where he turned into McDonalds and i carried on. I did flash my lights a couple of times, as did one or two oncoming vehicles, but it made no difference, the lights stayed off!

I'm sure there are many good taxi drivers, but i'm afraid what i see of the ones here in Peterhead does not paint them in a good light (pardon the pun!)

See and be seen - FP

"I'm sure there are many good taxi drivers..."

In London - yes, but nearly everywhere else tax-drivers are pretty appalling. They are professional drivers and should in my view maintain a standard that's better than your average driver.

Most of them get nowhere near.

See and be seen - bolt

"I'm sure there are many good taxi drivers..."

In London - yes, but nearly everywhere else tax-drivers are pretty appalling. They are professional drivers and should in my view maintain a standard that's better than your average driver.

Most of them get nowhere near.

I`d agree with you, they are for the most part terrible drivers, and do as they please wherever they are.

I was going round local roundabout and had to stop for traffic lights, when a taxi driver pulled up on the offside, when lights changed he accelerated across the front of two lanes of cars to go left with a passenger on board...

See and be seen - dan86

Majority of taxi (including) mini cabs are terrible drivers. They do as they please and have very little regard for the rules of the road.

See and be seen - focussed

Majority of taxi (including) mini cabs are terrible drivers. They do as they please and have very little regard for the rules of the road.

There used to be a formal taxi driving test to qualify for a taxi licence.

Carried out by the same DVLA examiners that carry out driving tests on learners.

Only a few councils required a taxi driving test certificate to qualify for a taxi licence - it was optional.

The DVLA - now called the DVSA since it merged with VOSA, no longer carries out taxi tests.

So there is currently no formal driving test for taxi drivers.

See and be seen - argybargy

My current car is the first one I've owned with DRLs, and it took me a couple of weeks to discover that they don't include rear lights. For a short while after buying it I kind of assumed there was some illumination at the rear, and until I discovered that there wasn't, I did occasionally rely on them when the light began to fail, although not at dusk or in darkness.

The front DRLs are very effective and I'm sure there are cars which automatically turn on what used to be called sidelights when the light falls below a certain level. However, I really can't work out what lights that only show at the front are meant to achieve.

Edited by argybargy on 21/11/2017 at 17:07

See and be seen - Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}

My previous car, a Mk2 Octavia did have the option to have front and rear DRL. But my Mk3 has no facility to be changed. Dangerous imho.

See and be seen - hillman

I once had a Volvo where the lights switched on with ignition. When I changed make of car I once or twice forgot to switch the lights on. So, I leave the sidelights always on, just so that I don't forget again. That way the rear lights come on too. Recently I was warned that one of my DRLs had failed. So I changed the bulbs, that is a story in itself (the designers of cars should be made to work on them).

See and be seen - badbusdriver

I once had a Volvo where the lights switched on with ignition. When I changed make of car I once or twice forgot to switch the lights on. So, I leave the sidelights always on, just so that I don't forget again. That way the rear lights come on too. Recently I was warned that one of my DRLs had failed. So I changed the bulbs, that is a story in itself (the designers of cars should be made to work on them).

I think that may be a Swedish or Scandanavian thing. I have owned 3 saabs ranging in age from '79 to '85 and all 3 had 'daytime running lights'. In the oldest of those, a 99, there was a switch on the dashboard to disable them, otherwise they just came on with the ignition. The other 2 did not have this, they were on all the time. I also had a '72 volvo 144, and while i wouldn't swear to it, i'm pretty sure it also had lights which came on with the ignition.

When i was a busdriver i would always have the headlights on (this was before the modern led running lights became the norm).

See and be seen - Andrew-T

Confess, I have DEL and until a few months ago, read on this forum, that it does not include rear. I wonder why not.

As I understand it, DRLs are to give other road users better warning of your approach. Normally you will not be travelling backwards at any dangerous speed, and when you are in reverse your car has reversing lights?

Personally I don't like DRLs much - they have become another item for stylists to enjoy themselves with.

Edited by Andrew-T on 21/11/2017 at 18:14

See and be seen - argybargy

As I understand it, DRLs are to give other road users better warning of your approach. Normally you will not be travelling backwards at any dangerous speed, and when you are in reverse your car has reversing lights?

True in many cases. However, Fords as owned recently by this contributor tend to have the reversing light (singular) in the lower bumper, which is IMO a totally inadequate method of warning others that you're going backwards. So rear DRLs would certainly help others to notice your reverse approach if you own a Focus, or B Max. As might repositioned reversing lights.

See and be seen - mcb100
Latest Peugeot 3008 and 5008 have DRL’s front and rear. So, in the dark, the only thing not illuminated is the number plate. Still not as good as dipped headlights, but a better solution for those not able to remember to work a light switch.
See and be seen - gordonbennet

I detest DRL's, they are far too dazzling in anything other than bright daylight, positively blinding in darkness due to no beam direction, far too camp on some vehicles too.

Have no wish to buy a car with them, if i end up with one they will be disconnected unless able to be switched off on the menu such as the ones on my present lorry are, they only get switched back on for the annual MOT test check.

The day i am too senile to know when i need to turn on lights or wipers or cancel my own indicators i'll cheerfully walk down the nick and hand me licence in.

See and be seen - RT

I detest DRL's, they are far too dazzling in anything other than bright daylight, positively blinding in darkness due to no beam direction, far too camp on some vehicles too.

Have no wish to buy a car with them, if i end up with one they will be disconnected unless able to be switched off on the menu such as the ones on my present lorry are, they only get switched back on for the annual MOT test check.

The day i am too senile to know when i need to turn on lights or wipers or cancel my own indicators i'll cheerfully walk down the nick and hand me licence in.

DRLs can only be switched off by turning the main lights on - on most cars anyway.

See and be seen - gordonbennet

DRLs can only be switched off by turning the main lights on - on most cars anyway.

Snip, and a quick connector fitting it will be then if i ever end up with the horrid things.

See and be seen - John F

I DRLs can only be switched off by turning the main lights on - on most cars anyway.

My 2005 Audi A8 was one of the first cars to have LED DRLs - and you can switch them off via the excellent MMI. QED;-)

I suspect quite a few drivers, like myself, use their lights as little as possible because modern light bulbs, quite apart from the ludicrous expense, are such a PITA to change if they fail. In a snarled-up traffic crawl in a built up area I frequently drive with just sidelights, which I hope the car in front appreciates. I wish SUVs with their high level headlights would do the same.

See and be seen - gordonbennet

I wish SUVs with their high level headlights would do the same.

I do that John, but we're dinosaurs, the new way is the light wars, i've got more bigger brighter and more silly looking lights than you, and if i can't beat you at the front end then i'll blind you with hundreds of watts of flickering LED's at the back.

I'm sure some here remember the pleasure that London driving was at one time (and how much nicer a place it was anyway) when everyone would drive along on sidelights alone, people kept their well adjusted night vision, pedestrians cyclists etc safer than now because said night vision of drivers wasn't utterly destroyed, and brake lights comprised of two simple 21w bulbs behind red plastic lenses without any chromed blinged faddy bits of fashionable tat adding to glare.

Edited by gordonbennet on 23/11/2017 at 20:48

See and be seen - Smileyman

Well SEAT in my Toledo have (almost) solved the problem of drivers using DLR's only when it is dark... the dashboard lights have a light sensor and when it gets dark (or driving in a tunnel / under trees etc) the dashboard goes dark .. impossible to read any of the dials unless dipped headlights are illuminated (lights are not lluminated for sidelights - which in most cars IMO pass for not much more than parking lights)

But I agree with OP there is a problem with vehicle illumination and the sooner the UK Gov passes legislation to deal with it the better for road safety for us all ... go back to "dim-dip" wired into the ignition for front and rear lights, the problem of blown bulbs is eliminated by the use of lifetime DLR's (also fited with light sensors).

See and be seen - Avant

SWMBO's Audi A1 has that too - useful, but if they're going to install the sensor anyway they might as well have had it activate the headlights when it gets dark. If the car hadn't been one already in stock, we'd have specified 'light assist' as Audi call it - only £125.

See and be seen - RichT54

One problem I have noticed with some manufacturers' automatic headlights is that they can switch on and off too quickly. When I had the CR-V I once drove under a railway bridge and the lights came on and then almost immediately went off again. Just ahead a driver pulled out of a side road in front of me - I'm sure he thought that I had flashed my lights to let him out! In contrast the system on the Audi A3 has a longer built in delay before the auto lights can switch off.

See and be seen - John F

SWMBO's Audi A1 has that too......

....inherited from my 12yr old A8! Vorsprung.....

See and be seen - bazza

I'm a bit behind the times on bulbs and headlights etc. These ultra bright headlights that constantly dazzle---- are they LED lights or Xenon HIDS or what? Are manufacturers fitting LED headlights now as original equipment and are LED bulbs available as a legal upgrade? Are they any good? I see a lot of what I call chav-mobiles with super bright lights that surely can't pass an MOT.

See and be seen - Manatee

My MX-5 has LED headlights - pretty good actually. As original equipment they are self levelling. If I have a criticism it is that the range is a bit short on dip, but the cut-off is very sharp and I suspect they don't therefore over-dazzle, except of course in the cresting-a-rise situation where all of these extra bright jobs can be an issue.

I haven't looked at the cheapo upgrade kits, but I suspect they don't come with the self-levelling that all the proper HIDs and LEDs do.

There is a shocking number of people around with hardly any lights working. I encountered two in one night recently with what appeared to be one main beam as the sole light on the front - presumably not dipped because it was the only one left.

I nearly ran into a transit as I turned into a junction recently, which I had taken for a motor cycle - one headlight on the nearside, not even a position light on the offside.

See and be seen - Andrew-T

There is a shocking number of people around with hardly any lights working. I encountered two in one night recently with what appeared to be one main beam as the sole light on the front - presumably not dipped because it was the only one left.

This is the time of year when they are most noticeable - evenings are getting darker and all the bulbs which have quietly failed over the summer are becoming more noticeable. As winter progresses some of them get picked up at an MoT if the drivers haven't spotted that they can't see very well.

See and be seen - bolt

There is a shocking number of people around with hardly any lights working. I encountered two in one night recently with what appeared to be one main beam as the sole light on the front - presumably not dipped because it was the only one left.

This is the time of year when they are most noticeable - evenings are getting darker and all the bulbs which have quietly failed over the summer are becoming more noticeable. As winter progresses some of them get picked up at an MoT if the drivers haven't spotted that they can't see very well.

Yes there are plenty around, a taxi in front of me last night had one rear and only one brake light, he travelled around 8 miles with the odd person including me flashing main beam to warn them

never took any notice and i`m certain driver was on the phone.

another annoying thing is cycle riders out wearing dark clothes and diving across road in front of cars without lights

See and be seen - Bilboman

In the "see and be seen" debate, let's not forget pedestrians, some of the worst offenders in these dark autumn/winter evenings. Ever seen a pedestrian wearing clothes that could remotely be described as light coloured? Forget "reflective", as that would be far too uncool, right? In my experience, pedestrians who are not also drivers have absolutely no appreciation of what a driver can and cannot see from the wheel of a moving car, and routinely blunder into the road, crossing it where and whenever they please, a dark, virtually invisible mass, often isolated from traffic by earphones.
And don't even get me started on joggers...

See and be seen - Andrew-T

In the "see and be seen" debate, let's not forget pedestrians, some of the worst offenders in these dark autumn/winter evenings.

Well, yes, but. Of course those offenders could take better precautions, but if you're only crossing the road to pick up a takeaway, do you really want to get kitted up in hi-viz? And I'm sure most people get behind the wheel now and again (or have done in the past), so there won't be that many who are unaware of the driver's difficulty.

Unfortunately the onus remains on the driver to avoid any obstacle in front of him, because he is the one in charge of the lethal weapon. The answer isn't just to make driving lamps brighter. Much of the problem is caused by all sorts of other distracting illumination, especially in busy streets.

See and be seen - Wackyracer

I think making driving lamps brighter is possibly causing more danger, oncoming traffic with retina burning qualities leaves you temporarily blind once they pass until your eyes readjust to the dark again (mainly in unlit areas like country lanes) then of course there are the ones that drive everywhere on mainbeam too or with badly adjusted lights that could light up a plane in the sky.

Last night on the way home from work, dark unlit country lanes, wet roads I just saw a tiny reflection from something in the distance. It was a cyclist dressed all in dark clothing with no lights the only thing I could see was the reflectors on his pedals until I got closer to him.

See and be seen - galileo

I think making driving lamps brighter is possibly causing more danger, oncoming traffic with retina burning qualities leaves you temporarily blind once they pass until your eyes readjust to the dark again (mainly in unlit areas like country lanes) then of course there are the ones that drive everywhere on mainbeam too or with badly adjusted lights that could light up a plane in the sky.

Discussing this with my garage-owner mate I said a lot of the badly aimed headlamps seem to be on Fords. He just bought a used Fiesta (temporary replacement for his 4x4 written off by a careless driver) and had to reset both headlamps.

He says underbonnet access is very difficult and the bulbs have three very small prongs which it is hard to locate properly - they may connect enough to run the lamp but can be misaligned.

Also cheap aftermarket bulbs may not have the filament in the right position.

 

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