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The Senseless Ambiguity of North American Turn Signals technology connections

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There are studies linked below that demonstrate a tangible safety benefit of amber turn signals. You might want to check them out. Though it might be small, the benefit is demonstrably there.
This has always bugged me, and no one talks about it. Our automotive lighting regulations in North America are stupid when it comes to tail lights. This video is about what is stupid, why it’s stupid, and what we could do about it.

Here are some studies showing that amber turn signals are indeed safer:

The following NHTSA study found between a 3 and 28% decrease in liklihood of collision with amber turn signals, although it acknowledges that some of this may have been related to simply having a separate indicator for braking and turning and not explicitly the color;

This study showed a significant descrease in reaction time to a brake signal when the vehicle is fitted with amber turn signals–partially explained by “Specifically, the subjects knew whether the red or the yellow turn signals were to be expected”. This suggests that the design should make clear even when the lights aren’t lit that there is a separate indicator for a turn signal.

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And wouldn’t ya know it, the IIHS has done some research. It’s a shame they aren’t making a bigger fuss about this:

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The Senseless Ambiguity of North American Turn Signals

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23 comments

tecnza 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

Looking at a Corvette C6, we Europeans can only be jealous of the American back light, they just look so much cooler compared to the European version that look like the back lights of a Bus.

Even as they are way more safe, they just look stupid.

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styldsteel1 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

Try walking into a car dealership and telling the salesman I wanna driving machine.

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Cass Hendo 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

This guy had me until he said "it's a little too easy to notice you haven't turned on your headlights" … Um, Sure, coz I drive without seeing where I'm going in the dark all the time. Can't Americans take a little responsibility for their actions? Can't see while driving in the dark. Why doesn't the car turn it's own lights on? Stupid car. My rights have been violated, I shouldn't have to turn the lights on myself??? LMFAO

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Corn0nTheCobb 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

This could have been a 3 minute video

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Guilherme Caiado 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

What for?
Chevy owners just don't signal changing lanes.

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Ruby Gloom 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

Our signals are fine. It’s the lack of 85% of drivers who refuse to use them

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SweCreations 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

Those extra milliseconds can often be life saving

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chris b 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

As a colorblind person, I don't see the issue

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Matt Gibbia 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

Curious what you would think about the sequential flashing of the turn signals on the Mustang

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Gumpa2 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

You should talk about the ridicolous touch-screen control the slam into every car these days! Event he climate needs a look at the screen now. Just ridiculous!

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sappermajor 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

https://youtu.be/raRhgM5ZfPM
Problem solved Semaphore Turning Signal (Trafficators

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Samuel Descheneau 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

The Mini Countryman with arrows pointing the wrong way is the worst of the worst design of all time. They have to recall these before a very bad accident happens.

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nottheinternet 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

I'd love to see a video on those new headlights that blink to indicate a turn.

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Smoo1977 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

It's not only new cars that have the gauges screen backlit – in my 31 year old Citroen AX the whole Christmas tree lights up when I turn the key to "acc".
At least I have real turn signals. 😉

There's also one other flaw to car lighting: In many cases the rear fog-lamps don't automatically go to off-until-actively-switched-on-again when you switch off the other lights … last fog's been days ago, still people burning the follower's retina. Also switching the rear fog-lights on should automatically reduce the tempo to the tempo that's allowed in conditions where you are allowed to switch them on. But I digress …

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Maror Rai 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

Also, in UE the third rear indicator needs to be placed toward the highest part of the car for improved visibility. And yes, it makes a huge difference

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Troy S 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

How do you feel about increasing the brightness of tail lights when the fog lights are turned on?

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Fermin Sainz 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

Looks ugly tho

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VehicleVibeZone 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

1:03 doug demuro???

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Jenn W 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

Yeah, it's not to save a few bucks – it's to make it look "cool."

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TheSky3Killer 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

Here in Brasil red turning signal was prohibited until 2010's , but nissan and ford came with some injunctions for them to be able to sell ford fusion and nissan sentra here and now we have a huge mix of red and amber signals , I hate it

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Bunnies Kitties 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

Government mandates in the name of safety are stupid. The government isnt your daddy, grow up and keep yourself safe. Dont expect some pencil pushing pissant in the gubbyment to protect you.

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Steve Fox 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

My UK Spec Ford Mondeo has red tinted rear indicator lenses as do a number of other cars here but use Amber bulbs, they get the look of being blended with the rest of the tail light but the safety of being amber!

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Chris Ducat 28/09/2021 - 9:30 PM

While it's annoying that brake lights can be shared with turn lights in the US, it's also why are cars are required to have a 3rd, central light to indicate only braking nowadays. It removes the ambiguity. The biggest issue IRL? People not using their turn signals at all, or waiting until they're already dramatically braking before turning them on! 🤬

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