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To think this driver was BU to not have lights on in bad weather?

(40 Posts)
SharkiraSharkira Wed 20-Sep-17 17:20:33

Riding home from work today (motorbike) and going down a narrow country lane that is quite 'enclosed' - as in there are high grassy banks on either side and trees growing over the road to make it quite shadowy and dark if you see what I mean.

Weather is terrible today, very cloudy, grey and raining heavily so visibility was reduced anyway.

Dark coloured car comes up the road with no lights on and due to the above reasons it was hard to see until I got close, fortunately I was going slowly so managed to avoid it but with the road conditions being so slippery if I had been going any faster I may have skidded straight into it due to not seeing it in time.

Aibu to think this driver was BU to not have their lights on in these conditions even though it was daylight?

SheSaidHeSaid Wed 20-Sep-17 17:23:01

YANBU

I'm sure the highway code or whatever it is states headlights need to be on when raining.

Coffeetasteslikeshit Wed 20-Sep-17 17:30:39

YANBU. I was thinking the same thing today as I drove to work. Why wouldn't you put your lights on? Surely they have difficulty seeing cars without headlights on too? I don't understand!

SharkiraSharkira Wed 20-Sep-17 17:51:20

I thought it was just standard that lights were supposed to be on all the time now but especially in bad weather [stupid emoticon]

It scared the crap out of me! Just glad I wasn't going any faster..

carefreeeee Wed 20-Sep-17 17:54:44

Perhaps best to slow down a little so that you can safely stop in the distance you can see to be clear? If it's wet and rainy it's not safe to go as fast. Especially on narrow country lanes. You can't rely on others' driving to always be perfect - you have to drive in such a way to allow for them to make mistakes.

SharkiraSharkira Wed 20-Sep-17 18:04:21

Oh believe me care, as a biker I have no choice but to ride defensively and assume that other drivers' have not seen me/will not stop in time/will pull out in front of me etc etc.

The road was a 30 limit and I was doing less than that but because the road was so slippery I have to be careful not to brake too harshly and leave plenty of room to slow down. Which I can, as long as I can see the car I'm trying to avoid.

TittyGolightly Wed 20-Sep-17 18:14:44

I'm sure the highway code or whatever it is states headlights need to be on when raining.

It doesn't. If visibility is reduced below 100m they must be on, but otherwise there's no legal requirement.

This is something I notice every time I am out driving in poor visibility. Far too many drivers who either don't think, or can't be bothered to put their lights on, making them so much harder to see.

I find pale coloured cars - white, silver etc - can be nearly invisible in mist or rain.

As @carefreeeee says, I do drive more slowly and defensively in poor conditions, but I can't understand why some drivers don't put their lights on in poor weather conditions/visibility. Don't they want to be as visible as possible? Or do they think it is everyone else's responsibility to look out for them and avoid them, and they don't have any part to play in this?

PoppyPopcorn Wed 20-Sep-17 18:17:16

I always have my car headlights on the "auto" setting, so that they come on automatically when the light levels drop. Yes they always come on when it's raining.

brasty Wed 20-Sep-17 18:17:45

There are no rules about this. My driving instructor taught me to put them in, when other people did.
To be honest though, I see people putting them on on dull days, and it really makes no difference to being able to see other people.

TittyGolightly Wed 20-Sep-17 18:29:17

I always have my car headlights on the "auto" setting, so that they come on automatically when the light levels drop. Yes they always come on when it's raining.

Soon there will be no need for human brains.

AuroraBora Wed 20-Sep-17 18:39:17

YANBU!

It's one of my common moans when driving. I don't think people think about how invisible a silver or dark car in poor visibility actually is. In winter I tend to put mine on as soon as I get in the car.

In a lot of European countries you have to drive with them on permanently or at least when raining, which is sensible IMO.

SomewhatIdiosyncratic Wed 20-Sep-17 18:48:14

Silver and dark cars can be particularly difficult to see in poor lighting conditions and use of side lights can give more definition. Bright reds and blues can be a bit more forgiving.

The other condition I find lights helpful for is in glaring low sun that silhouettes vehicles and their surroundings. If it's awkward to see other vehicles, I put my lights on so at least other road users can see me (particularly as my car is one of those awkward monochrome colours)

I'm finding that the newfangled daylight lights on newer models have the stupid design fault that they don't light up the back of the car and it doesn't occur to the owner that the back end is hard for other road users to see.

specialsubject Wed 20-Sep-17 18:55:40

The op WAS driving slowly enough to be able to stop.

I had a brown car which was apparently invisible in all conditions, so the comments about white and silver are interesting. But yes - lights on, although anything under about 10 years old will be really badly designed.

TittyGolightly Wed 20-Sep-17 19:01:13

I'm finding that the newfangled daylight lights on newer models have the stupid design fault that they don't light up the back of the car and it doesn't occur to the owner that the back end is hard for other road users to see.

Yep. More stupid fuckery.

carefreeeee Wed 20-Sep-17 19:09:44

Fair enough you think your speed was reasonable, but there isn't a law that cars need to have lights on when it's raining so you need to ride knowing that they may be difficult to spot. 30 is actually quite fast for a single lane road with poor visibility in heavy rain. Stay safe!

WaxOnFeckOff Wed 20-Sep-17 19:16:35

I always have my car headlights on the "auto" setting, so that they come on automatically when the light levels drop. Yes they always come on when it's raining.

Mine rarely come on when it's raining or if it's foggy in daylight. Fortunately the manufacturer shoved a big window right in front of the car which I find really handy for looking out and deciding when when my lights need to be on. The other thing is that when mine are on auto, and the lights come on, there is only one symbol to show that lights are on and I therefore don't know whether it's the waste of space side lights that it's put on or the proper lights.

I think a lot of drivers just assume that their car knows best whereas I disagree with mine about this all the time smile

WaxOnFeckOff Wed 20-Sep-17 19:18:54

..Obviously when it's dark I can tell if the big or wee lights are on as they help me to see in the dark. I mean more when it's quite dull or at dusk.

brasty Wed 20-Sep-17 21:49:47

I don't have auto lights

SharkiraSharkira Wed 20-Sep-17 23:37:11

You can choose to turn them on if you need them on in the daytime though can't you? (Genuine question as I don't drive a car!)

steff13 Thu 21-Sep-17 04:14:10

In my state, they have to be on between dusk and dawn, and if you have your windshield wipers on.

vivaVasLagas Thu 21-Sep-17 04:39:21

Yes Shakira, there's an over ride setting.

I think the fact that most (all?) bikes have their lights on all the time because of their vulnerability suggests that they make you more likely to be seen. My bike and cars have driving lights all the time. The cars have auto headlamps too.

In a 30, you'd have to be in really horrendous and unusual weather to need lights in daylight.

Hope it's not a patronising tip (from another rider) but at lower speeds I try not to touch the front brake. Far less chance of coming off when using the rear.

donajimena Thu 21-Sep-17 04:42:43

I always put mine on in rain and low sun. Why wouldn't you? I just have to turn a little knob. It takes very little time.!

AlessandroVasectomi Thu 21-Sep-17 04:56:58

In cars I've owned with auto lights, the auto setting turns the daytime running lights on whatever the light conditions and the headlights and rear lights when the light drops to a certain level - adjustable on my current car. My wife took delivery of a new car about 6 weeks ago and one of the first things I noticed is that the rear lights do come on when the daytime running lights are on, so maybe that's a new trend in daytime running lights.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Thu 21-Sep-17 05:51:38

I think that people assume that everyone else has the same level of vision as they do (assuming it is corrected if necessary). Visual perception though does vary between people. For example I have never had the experience of finding it hard to see silver, brown, black or any colour of car. I would not automatically think 'poor visibility today so will turn lights on' because other than in the fog/dark I can see cars perfectly well. I do turn mine on but often need the prompt of seeing other cars with lights on. I think that unless you have been used to having lights on at all times it is hard to judge at which point other road users might find it hard to see you.

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