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Brake light flasher - Do you pump your brakes to flash your brake light ?


NeilW

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The Motorcycle Safety Foundation beginner course teaches new riders to flash their brakes when slowing or stopping unexpectedly. Isn't that also the times when you have the least amount of space to waste taking your hand and foot OFF the brakes?   I just installed the Kisan brake light flasher on my T7. Easy install. Just take out the left rear panel screws enough to slip your hands in and separate the white 3 wire connector.  I feel these are important safety additions to my arsenal of training, experience and visibility gear. If it catches the attention of the ONE inattentive driver that was going to rear end me, but didn't, I  will be thankful for the invention. I welcome your comments:

 https://ultimatemotorcycling.com/2022/02/11/kisan-electronics-tailblazer-review-motorcycle-braking-warning-flasher/

Edited by NeilW
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The more people use crap like that the useless it becomes and the greater risk roadworker are faced with because people also get blind to those flashing lights.
You will not be safe by adding visibility, only by riding defensive. Be aware of everything around you and always scan for escape routes.
That's how i survived i think close to a million motorcycle kilometres.

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Flasher can help but it needs to be comply to the law especially california.

but over the years, i tend to pump for manual flashing also preventing myself to grab a full fist of brake during emergency

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1 hour ago, Ray Ride4life said:

The more people use crap like that the useless it becomes and the greater risk roadworker are faced with because people also get blind to those flashing lights.
You will not be safe by adding visibility, only by riding defensive. Be aware of everything around you and always scan for escape routes.
That's how i survived i think close to a million motorcycle kilometres.

What specifically can you do defensively  when you are stopping quickly at a changing stoplight and the driver behind you has their eyes down looking at their phone? What documentation or anecdotal evidence do you have that motorcycle brake lights flashing are a greater risk to roadworkers? It flashes your brake light for 4 seconds with a slowing pattern, not indefinitely  as in  " those flashing lights". Do you ever flash  your brake light when slowing, ever? thanks for the discussion - it is helpful to many - please don't duck out.

 

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2 hours ago, TimmyTheHog said:

Flasher can help but it needs to be comply to the law especially california.

but over the years, i tend to pump for manual flashing also preventing myself to grab a full fist of brake during emergency

Here is the CA code. Manufacturer says it complies. 

(c) Any stoplamp or supplemental stoplamp required or permitted by Section 24603 may be equipped so as to flash not more than four times within the first four seconds after actuation by application of the brakes.

There's a second part to the CA Vehicle Code that I can't find right now that specifies the deceleration flash pattern with exponential decay. That is why, if you watch the video link in the review it flashes 6x but in a decaying delay pattern.

Edited by NeilW
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44 minutes ago, NeilW said:

What specifically can you do defensively  when you are stopping quickly at a changing stoplight and the driver behind you has their eyes down looking at their phone? What documentation or anecdotal evidence do you have that motorcycle brake lights flashing are a greater risk to roadworkers? It flashes your brake light for 4 seconds with a slowing pattern, not indefinitely  as in  " those flashing lights". Do you ever flash  your brake light when slowing, ever? thanks for the discussion - it is helpful to many - please don't duck out.

 

The documentation is common sense and logic.
Roadworkers have flashing lights to mark their workplace but when everybody is flashing everything people get used to it and eventually stop seeing it.
When that happens the flashing lights the roadworkers use to mark their workplace is also not seen anymore reducing the attention and bring danger to their workplace.
When you stop quickly at a stoplight keep the middle or the side of the road and keep an eye on the mirrir plus leave the bike in gear.
Scan for escape routes to go when someone seems to not see you.
This is the reason why in the Netherlands filtering is allowed. Just to reduce the risk you as a motorcyclist being rear ended and squashed between the sleeping person and the car in front of you.
When you're alone at a stoplight you can flash your brake lights but only shortly whenever you see someone coming and you're the last in line.
Don't start flashing to early and be ready to take off.
In normal road use you stay a bit centred and claim your place on the road to avoid people getting next to you  but at traffic lights you want to take a side leaving people an escape route and yourself the shortest way to safety. Left or right is depending on the situation. Beware, on a left turn it is not the left but the right of the lane and vice versa. That's because somebody about to rear end you is going that way already so you need an escape the other way.

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15 minutes ago, Ray Ride4life said:

The documentation is common sense and logic.
Roadworkers have flashing lights to mark their workplace but when everybody is flashing everything people get used to it and eventually stop seeing it.
When that happens the flashing lights the roadworkers use to mark their workplace is also not seen anymore reducing the attention and bring danger to their workplace.
When you stop quickly at a stoplight keep the middle or the side of the road and keep an eye on the mirrir plus leave the bike in gear.
Scan for escape routes to go when someone seems to not see you.
This is the reason why in the Netherlands filtering is allowed. Just to reduce the risk you as a motorcyclist being rear ended and squashed between the sleeping person and the car in front of you.
When you're alone at a stoplight you can flash your brake lights but only shortly whenever you see someone coming and you're the last in line.
Don't start flashing to early and be ready to take off.
In normal road use you stay a bit centred and claim your place on the road to avoid people getting next to you  but at traffic lights you want to take a side leaving people an escape route and yourself the shortest way to safety. Left or right is depending on the situation. Beware, on a left turn it is not the left but the right of the lane and vice versa. That's because somebody about to rear end you is going that way already so you need an escape the other way.

In the USA, roadworkers do not use flashing lights. I can see why someone in NL would see flashing brake lights differently.  I lived in California for most of my life and it is legal to go between autos. It is not legal anywhere else in the USA. Having grown up in California I naturally stop to the left or right to be able to squirt between the cars in front of me but for everyone else in the USA, they don't think to have that escape route. I hope many are reading your reply. Thanks.

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Here in Oz we call it lane splitting. As I don't live in a highly urbanised area I have never done it. Basically a motorcycle rider has the legal right to go between two lines of vehicles approaching a set of traffic lights. A lot of tin top drivers don't know the law and try to squeeze the rider. 

I prefer to keep a close eye on what is coming up behind and prepare to exit quickly to a safer zone.

Alcohol! No good story starts with a salad.

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14 hours ago, Ray Ride4life said:

You will not be safe by adding visibility, only by riding defensive. Be aware of everything around you and always scan for escape routes.
That's how i survived i think close to a million motorcycle kilometres.

 

I concur.

Years ago when I taught my kids to ride I stressed to them over and over again:

'Remember, when you are putting on your riding gear, you are donning your amazing cloak of invisibility.

Throwing a leg over your bike activates it.'

 

It is an amazing cloak.

You can be approaching a junction and see a car waiting to exit, right across your lane.

You see the driver looking straight towards you and you are only 150 yards away but.........

He cant see YOU.  

He's seeing the truck a quarter mile behind you.

 

 

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Riding faster than everyone else only guarantees you'll ride alone.....        

 

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1 minute ago, Toppie said:

 

I concur.

Years ago when I taught my kids to ride I stressed to them over and over again:

'Remember, when you are putting on your riding gear, you are donning your amazing cloak of invisibility.

Throwing a leg over your bike activates it.'

 

It is an amazing cloak.

You can be approaching a junction and see a car waiting to exit, right across your lane.

You see the driver looking straight towards you and you are only 150 yards away but.........

He cant see YOU.  

He's seeing the truck a quarter mile behind you.

 

 

Are you also saying that no one will notice you “all the time” or realize you are there “ever” by flashing your tail light or having a headlight modulator?  Thinking they will try to run you over no matter your tricks, that is an important defensive thought process. But in the real world doesn’t a flashing brake light ever catch someone’s attention that otherwise would not have, ever? 

YES a flashing tail light might snap an inattentive driver to attention.

NO a flashing tail light will never snap an inattentive driver to attention.

 

which do you agree with, the yes or the no?

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2 minutes ago, Toppie said:

 

I concur.

Years ago when I taught my kids to ride I stressed to them over and over again:

'Remember, when you are putting on your riding gear, you are donning your amazing cloak of invisibility.

Throwing a leg over your bike activates it.'

 

It is an amazing cloak.

You can be approaching a junction and see a car waiting to exit, right across your lane.

You see the driver looking straight towards you and you are only 150 yards away but.........

He cant see YOU.  

He's seeing the truck a quarter mile behind you.

 

 

It's not that he can't see you, it's just that he won't see you.
You'd be amazed how many people don't look and even don't see you wearing high vis clothing and i know, this is what i'm wearing when i'm supporting the police when they guide events like truckruns for (mentally) disabled people.
DSC_0484.thumb.JPG.ab5df31d2eafc5bb62c2f234ad215390.JPG

With that i also have my auxiliary lights flashing.

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The hi viz is the odd one out. In a sea of "hi-viz" the one in black stands out. I recall an elevated photo of a union meeting at Barangaroo site in Sydney. In the middle of a sea of hi-viz yellow & orange there was one with a black hoodie ( There were over 2000 at the meeting ). Your eye was drawn to the black.

Visibility is a trained concept. I firmly believe all road users should be using 2 wheels before they get a licence to drive a tin top. Awareness and safety would increase & road incidents would reduce ( my opinion only )

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Alcohol! No good story starts with a salad.

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1 minute ago, Ray Ride4life said:

It's not that he can't see you, it's just that he won't see you.
You'd be amazed how many people don't look and even don't see you wearing high vis clothing and i know, this is what i'm wearing when i'm supporting the police when they guide events like truckruns for (mentally) disabled people.
DSC_0484.thumb.JPG.ab5df31d2eafc5bb62c2f234ad215390.JPG

With that i also have my auxiliary lights flashing.

I have been using headlight modulator for 15 years and it happens all the time that a left or right turner that I am approaching will have started to impede my right of way and then slam on their brakes hard- they just woke up to the sight of a modulating headlight. 
by the way, I had slowed 10mph, covered both brakes and I am prefiring my muscles (cutting out the decision time)  by repeating fast over and over “brake” with out doing it. And then I smile as they skid and watch me go by …

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4 hours ago, NeilW said:
4 hours ago, NeilW said:

 YES a flashing tail light might snap an inattentive driver to attention.

NO a flashing tail light will never snap an inattentive driver to attention.

 

which do you agree with, the yes or the no?

 

 

I'd have to answer YES of course. Anything is welcome to try to make other road users that you're there.

My point was,  motorcyclists become invisible to other motorists.

It's not a theory of mine but a fact.

Most motorists check for other cars and trucks.

They'll often look past an oncoming, headlit bike ridden by a fluorescent vested rider and simply not see it 'cos they aint looking for it.

 

95% of the time when a motorist knocks a biker off the response is : 'Sorry mate....I didn't see yer'

 

 

Edited by Toppie
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Riding faster than everyone else only guarantees you'll ride alone.....        

 

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4 hours ago, Toppie said:

 

I'd have to answer YES of course. Anything is welcome to try to make other road users that you're there.

My point was,  motorcyclists become invisible to other motorists.

It's not a theory of mine but a fact.

Most motorists check for other cars and trucks.

They'll often look past an oncoming, headlit bike ridden by a fluorescent vested rider and simply not see it 'cos they aint looking for it.

 

95% of the time when a motorist knocks a biker off the response is : 'Sorry mate....I didn't see yer'

 

 

I totally agree that we are totally invisible And have targets on us. My whole point about a flashing tail light is to  catch their eye when they are distracted. Like looking DOWN at their phone or reaching across to tap their radio. It won’t work very time but it only needs to work once when it counts. 
I don’t understand why so many responders think I rely solely on “visibility aids “ for safety. I need to do a better job of explaining myself. 

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I have wired one of these into my brake lights on my T7 and FZ-09, and it seems to do the trick to wake people up.

 

When I see someone coming up behind me as I am waiting at a stop light, I just release and re-apply the brakes and it flashes the brake light again.

 

I also wired them in using the same brake light plugs that are on the bike. So no need to cut any wires and if the relay ever does crap out, I can unplug the unit, and re-plug in the brake light back to stock.

 


Brake light strobe module works with LED brake or reverse lights. Strobe module rapidly flashes bulbs 4 times for 0.4 seconds, slowly 4 times for 2.6 seconds, and then lights remain on bright until brake pedal is released. 12V DC Operation...

 

Edited by Rocky_Mtn_T7
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24 minutes ago, Rocky_Mtn_T7 said:

I have wired one of these into my brake lights on my T7 and FZ-09, and it seems to do the trick to wake people up.

 

When I see someone coming up behind me as I am waiting at a stop light, I just release and re-apply the brakes and it flashes the brake light again.

 

I also wired them in using the same brake light plugs that are on the bike. So no need to cut any wires and if the relay ever does crap out, I can unplug the unit, and re-plug in the brake light back to stock.

 


Brake light strobe module works with LED brake or reverse lights. Strobe module rapidly flashes bulbs 4 times for 0.4 seconds, slowly 4 times for 2.6 seconds, and then lights remain on bright until brake pedal is released. 12V DC Operation...

 

I agree - thanks for your comment.

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Here is a quick YouTube video that shows how the brake light strobe works.

 

Four quick flashes, then four slower flashes, then brake light on. To repeat just release the brakes quick and re-apply.

 

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 Some people have trouble moving out of the way of an ambulance which has much brighter flashing lights and sirens. These are the kind of people that are more likely to run over you.
 

If you think you have a gumby driving/riding behind you, move over and let them pass.

 

You always want the idiot in front of you, not behind you.

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1 minute ago, Hogan said:

If you think you have a gumby driving/riding behind you, move over and let them pass.

Or ride faster 😇

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3 minutes ago, Ray Ride4life said:

Or ride faster 😇

And put yourself at more risk? Yeah nah.

 

Obviously you haven't ridden much if you've never been in the situation where you are already speeding and you have a tailgater.

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2 minutes ago, Hogan said:

And put yourself at more risk? Yeah nah.

 

Obviously you haven't ridden much if you've never been in the situation where you are already speeding and you have a tailgater.

Last year i did 34500km, almost a million km on a motorcycle in total and many country's which not always with the best reputation for traffic.
If they want to crash let them, sometimes i rather get away from them than stay behind.
Yesterday on my way home from work the storm was just starting and i passed 3 cars because they swerved into the opposite lane and i don't like a frontal collision just in front of me, even with enough distance in between.

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9 hours ago, Hogan said:

 Some people have trouble moving out of the way of an ambulance which has much brighter flashing lights and sirens. These are the kind of people that are more likely to run over you.
 

If you think you have a gumby driving/riding behind you, move over and let them pass.

 

You always want the idiot in front of you, not behind you.

My flashing brake light is there to potentially and possibly catch the attention of an inattentive driver who is looking down at their phone or changing channels on their radio when coming up on me at a stoplight. My quick flashing tail light might get their attention. Notice the word “might”. It is always my responsibility to protect myself by sitting myself in a position to move between the cars ahead of me. Clutch in, in gear, watching my rear view mirror. I don’t know where you learned to ride but in the US most people train with the Motorcycle Safety foundation, and they teach new riders to flash their brake as they are slowing. Everyone brings up running into a fire truck or ambulance as a reason to not flash their brake light. They have nothing to do with each other. All I have done is automate the brake flash, not make my self into an ambulance running intersections. I bet you flash your brake occasionally. And personally I never brake check a tailgater. I move over or wave my arm to signal the to pass me and move to the right side of my lane. Never know who is going to road rage.  Thanks for responding. I appreciate comments. Did you read my review - which is how this mini thread started. 

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2 hours ago, NeilW said:

I don’t know where you learned to ride but in the US most people train with the Motorcycle Safety foundation, and they teach new riders to flash their brake as they are slowing.

 

I don't know how they teach that, because for the light to be off the brakes must be off. Which means to flash the lights you are not braking for a percentage of the time you need to brake. But you know that already...

 

I've been through the Honda Australia rider training (HART) and what they do teach in respect to the situation are:

1) Having enough awareness to avoid hard braking

2)"Brake Setup" which involves illuminating the brake lights before you intend to brake, or before you might be required to brake such as when approaching an intersection with a vehicle waiting to turn or might turn in front of you.

 

There are two main reasons flashing brake lights do next to nothing:

1) People don't brake when they see brake lights. They generally prepare to brake by releasing the accelerator and they might cover the brake. They won't actually brake until they see a vehicle in front of them slow down. This is how Brake Setup works. You are reducing the reaction time of the driver behind you. Having flashing lights come on exactly the same time you slow down does not do that. It may even distract them from what is happening further ahead because flashing lights like that is uncommon in a common situation.

2)Crash statistics. I won't speak for the US but I don't doubt the numbers are similar to Australia. I've looked at a lot of different reports by crashes, deaths, different states etc and they all paint the same picture. The vast majority of motorcycle accidents are single vehicle accidents. Of those involving other vehicles the vast majority are at intersections. And of those intersection crashes, the majority are opposite direction and adjacent road collisions. That is the car pulls out in front of the bike - where they can't see your brake lights.

Then out of the remaining number of crashes that are in the same direction, you also have to consider that this involves not just rear end collisions, but overtaking and blind spot related crashes where the visibility of your brake light is irrelevant.

Basically in the situations you are likely to be hit, the visibility of your brake lights is irrelevent.

 

The best thing you can do to improve your visibility is wear hi-vis clothing. Yet funny enough, not many people do.

Edited by Hogan
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20 minutes ago, Hogan said:

 

I don't know how they teach that, because for the light to be off the brakes must be off. Which means to flash the lights you are not braking for a percentage of the time you need to brake. But you know that already...

 

I've been through the Honda Australia rider training (HART) and what they do teach in respect to the situation are:

1) Having enough awareness to avoid hard braking

2)"Brake Setup" which involves illuminating the brake lights before you intend to brake, or before you might be required to brake such as when approaching an intersection with a vehicle waiting to turn or might turn in front of you.

 

There are two main reasons flashing brake lights do next to nothing:

1) People don't brake when they see brake lights. They generally prepare to brake by releasing the accelerator and they might cover the brake. They won't actually brake until they see a vehicle in front of them slow down. This is how Brake Setup works. You are reducing the reaction time of the driver behind you. Having flashing lights come on exactly the same time you slow down does not do that. It may even distract them from what is happening further ahead because flashing lights like that is uncommon in a common situation.

2)Crash statistics. I won't speak for the US but I don't doubt the numbers are similar to Australia. I've looked at a lot of different reports by crashes, deaths, different states etc and they all paint the same picture. The vast majority of motorcycle accidents are single vehicle accidents. Of those involving other vehicles the vast majority are at intersections. And of those intersection crashes, the majority are opposite direction and adjacent road collisions. That is the car pulls out in front of the bike - where they can't see your brake lights.

Then out of the remaining number of crashes that are in the same direction, you also have to consider that this involves not just rear end collisions, but overtaking and blind spot related crashes where the visibility of your brake light is irrelevant.

Basically in the situations you are likely to be hit, the visibility of your brake lights is irrelevent.

 

The best thing you can do to improve your visibility is wear hi-vis clothing. Yet funny enough, not many people do.

Thank you for your considered reply and taking the time to share. In the US the death percentage from rear ends is 7 percent.  Remember it is a tool. One of many. I also run the Kisan headlight modulator with is not legal in AU for all those front crash avoid situations. I don’t have to be slowing to get my brake light to flash. Neither do you. Do you do it? I do and now it does it automatically. As you say, I can continuously brake if needed and still have my tail light flashing. I don’t know if you have read it here but many will disagree with you to wear hi viz. they have their reasons. I flash, I weave approaching a left turn indicating car, I look a mile ahead, I have a headlight modulator and a taillight flashers, I wear a full face helmet and a klim Airbag. Help me out here, am I missing anything?

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