November 03, 2008

Adjustable Brake Lights


Ever been driving behind someone on the highway, and you see their brake lights go on? So you lay off the gas a bit to slow down, and then...AH! They're actually braking to a stop on the highway??! So, you slam on the brakes and sort of steer the nose of your car toward the shoulder as you whiplash yourself to a stop 6 in. from their bumper, because you didn't see the traffic jam ahead.

Bright brake lights can mean anything, so we make our best guess subconsciously based on where we are. Coming up to a red light? Yeah, they're probably stopping. On the highway? They're probably just slowing down for some reason I can't see.

Let's end the guessing game, and create adjustable brake lights that adjust intensity based on the amount of force given to the brake pedal. That way, we'll know for sure. And have less accidents because of it.

(idea submitted by frequent contributor, Matt)

8 comments:

Kat said...

I LOVE this idea... maybe it would help with the car sickness as well.

Cheesehead Runner said...

Instead of this idea, perhaps people could remember how to drive, focus on the whole road, and put down the cell phone, make-up etc.....

Sabai said...

ooh, that'd be much tricker, heidi.

why don't we just make the driving test WAY harder?

Kat said...

even alert drivers in small cars can often not see over the giant SUV's/trucks in front of them to determine the reason for the braking...

Sabai said...

i can already hear the haters now. "Why don't you just assume the worst EVERY time, and leave a 100 yard gap between you and the car in front of you?"

You're right. That is also a solution. This one is simply better.

emily said...

I agree with both Cheesehead and Kat. I am really guilty of putting my makeup on in the car (usually at traffic lights or during traffic jams!) and that's BAD. So, good point there. AND--I have trouble seeing far ahead when the traffic's thick, so it can at times be hard to anticipate a sudden hold-up. The only exception to this is when you're on 290, and can be 400% sure that right when you come around the bend by the fatally smelly landmine, everyone will screech to a halt for the 24/7 Oak Park-area traffic jam. That's also when you can REALLY safely put your makeup on, because you do very little actual moving. If you can breathe for the smell.

Braden said...

I was just talking to Haley about this the other day. I've had the same idea for years, but I'm not enterprising enough to do anything about it. I always figured somebody had tried it back in the 60's and for some reason it didn't catch on. Variable intensity brake lights... I missed my chance.

Steve said...

It doesn't necessarily have to be something big and noticeable that they are stopping for either. On my drive home, it could just as easily be a deer in the road.

Great idea. Make it so.