Alternative to Headlamp flash

Alternative to Headlamp flash

Author
Discussion

Speary8

Original Poster:

33 posts

20 months

Tuesday 15th August 2017
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I have always thought asking somebody to move over from the right hand lane to let me past by me flashing my headlamps tends to be seen as aggressive, even when doing the flash from a long way back.
Lately I have been trying a different method which seems to be working with no aggressive reactions from the other driver (so far).
If I think the car in front is not aware that I want to pass I put my right indicator on and move slightly right to ensure they can see the indicator in their door mirror.
Having said that if they dont see the signal or me; I LIGHT EM UP!!!!! which usually gets the desired result along with the finger or two.

I picked this up from driving through France in 2015 where there is practically no headlamp flashing and witnessed it again this month whilst on another driving holiday there

Pica-Pica

3,771 posts

19 months

Tuesday 15th August 2017
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Speary8 said:
I have always thought asking somebody to move over from the right hand lane to let me past by me flashing my headlamps tends to be seen as aggressive, even when doing the flash from a long way back.
Lately I have been trying a different method which seems to be working with no aggressive reactions from the other driver (so far).
If I think the car in front is not aware that I want to pass I put my right indicator on and move slightly right to ensure they can see the indicator in their door mirror.
Having said that if they dont see the signal or me; I LIGHT EM UP!!!!! which usually gets the desired result along with the finger or two.

I picked this up from driving through France in 2015 where there is practically no headlamp flashing and witnessed it again this month whilst on another driving holiday there
Standard European usage.

SVS

3,459 posts

206 months

Wednesday 16th August 2017
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I agree that a right indicator can be a lot less aggressive than a headlight flash. I find the right indicator often works well, perhaps because it doesn't seem aggressive.

That said, poor following distance is probably the main culprit for seeming aggressive.

p1esk

4,812 posts

131 months

Wednesday 16th August 2017
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How about putting dipped headlights on while you're still a long way back, then closing to a reasonable following distance and waiting a while? If that doesn't work, switch the headlights off and put on a right indicator, possibly accompanied by a brief headlight flash.

I do think it best to avoid any action that might look overly impatient, let alone aggressive, as that can induce some people to behave even more badly than they might otherwise do. In any event I think we ought to refrain from taking up a close following position in an attempt to push them into moving over.

Dixy

1,351 posts

140 months

Wednesday 16th August 2017
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How quaint that you think people who have poor lane discipline use their mirrors.
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Reg Local

2,349 posts

143 months

Wednesday 16th August 2017
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The French also use a left indicator on the motorway to let faster following traffic know that:

1. They've seen them and;

2. They're continuing an overtaking maneuver and will return to a lane to the right when they have completed their overtake.

I was told by someone years ago that it is an offence to unnecessarily block overtaking lanes in France, but I cannot verify the truth or otherwise of this statement. In my experience, however, the French - for all their other failings on the road - do display good lane discipline on motorways.

AllyBassman

411 posts

47 months

Wednesday 16th August 2017
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As frustrating as it is, part of the problem is that if you keep a safe distance to the car infront, they just see you as following along rather than wanting to make progress and for them to move over when safe to do so.

I may try this tip rathen than the headlight flash!

Dark85

314 posts

83 months

Wednesday 16th August 2017
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I've been doing this for a while and whilst it's not as effective as a flash it does work pretty often and never seems to provoke a negative reaction so it's worth giving it a go; I'll normally give it 10-20seconds then give a flash. I also find it's more effective to keep moving the car around rather than simply position in their offside mirror. It's something I've seen emergency drivers doing and I assume works on the principle that your peripheral vision picks up movement better than anything else.

Pica-Pica

3,771 posts

19 months

Wednesday 16th August 2017
quotequote all
Reg Local said:
The French also use a left indicator on the motorway to let faster following traffic know that:

1. They've seen them and;

2. They're continuing an overtaking maneuver and will return to a lane to the right when they have completed their overtake.

I was told by someone years ago that it is an offence to unnecessarily block overtaking lanes in France, but I cannot verify the truth or otherwise of this statement. In my experience, however, the French - for all their other failings on the road - do display good lane discipline on motorways.
I sometimes do that, not regularly, but in exactly the circumstances you describe.

Pica-Pica

3,771 posts

19 months

Wednesday 16th August 2017
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Dark85 said:
I've been doing this for a while and whilst it's not as effective as a flash it does work pretty often and never seems to provoke a negative reaction so it's worth giving it a go; I'll normally give it 10-20seconds then give a flash. I also find it's more effective to keep moving the car around rather than simply position in their offside mirror. It's something I've seen emergency drivers doing and I assume works on the principle that your peripheral vision picks up movement better than anything else.
Peripheral vision is specifically evolved to detect movement rather than detail. Anyone who is a bird/animal studier will have noted that predators have forward facing eyes (e.g. owls) while prey have eyes more to the side. Flies are even better at detecting motion, as we have all experienced. The extent of colour detection at the periphery is debated and later (improved) experiments indicate it is better than previously believed.

http://jov.arvojournals.org/article.aspx?articleid...

Rick101

5,622 posts

85 months

Wednesday 16th August 2017
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I'd agree with the indicator rather than a flash. Seems to me much more like a 'I would like to pass please' than a 'get out of the way'


I did use the indicator following a rather pedestrian driver, on a single track road a few weeks ago.
We approached him at least double his speed. Kept a comfortable distance to start. Then tried moving to an overtake position when there was space. Tried this 2 or 3 times. Eventually sat with indicator or for half a mile or so. Cancelled when the road narrowed. eventually it widened again and again the indicator went on.

Finally, he pulled over an allowed us past. I'm not sure whether it was stubbornness or a lack of confidence to pull over that caused the delay. Regardless, a cheery wave and thank you as we passed and onto the next bit of glorious tarmac.

Pica-Pica

3,771 posts

19 months

Wednesday 16th August 2017
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Rick101 said:
I'd agree with the indicator rather than a flash. Seems to me much more like a 'I would like to pass please' than a 'get out of the way'


I did use the indicator following a rather pedestrian driver, on a single track road a few weeks ago.
We approached him at least double his speed. Kept a comfortable distance to start. Then tried moving to an overtake position when there was space. Tried this 2 or 3 times. Eventually sat with indicator or for half a mile or so. Cancelled when the road narrowed. eventually it widened again and again the indicator went on.

Finally, he pulled over an allowed us past. I'm not sure whether it was stubbornness or a lack of confidence to pull over that caused the delay. Regardless, a cheery wave and thank you as we passed and onto the next bit of glorious tarmac.
I assume stubbornness, my wife assumes it is lack of confidence. She is normally correct (even when she is wrong).

Pica-Pica

3,771 posts

19 months

Wednesday 16th August 2017
quotequote all
Pica-Pica said:
Dark85 said:
I've been doing this for a while and whilst it's not as effective as a flash it does work pretty often and never seems to provoke a negative reaction so it's worth giving it a go; I'll normally give it 10-20seconds then give a flash. I also find it's more effective to keep moving the car around rather than simply position in their offside mirror. It's something I've seen emergency drivers doing and I assume works on the principle that your peripheral vision picks up movement better than anything else.
Peripheral vision is specifically evolved to detect movement rather than detail. Anyone who is a bird/animal studier will have noted that predators have forward facing eyes (e.g. owls) while prey have eyes more to the side. Flies are even better at detecting motion, as we have all experienced. The extent of colour detection at the periphery is debated and later (improved) experiments indicate it is better than previously believed.

http://jov.arvojournals.org/article.aspx?articleid...
Commenting on my own response, there is a BBC item on just now concluding the stripes on zebras confuse flies, thus keeping them away from zebras.

robbyd

521 posts

110 months

Saturday 19th August 2017
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Speary8 said:
I have always thought asking somebody to move over from the right hand lane to let me past by me flashing my headlamps tends to be seen as aggressive
I agree - but a lot of people in the outside lane don't use rear view mirror so would not appreciate indicator...

Often getting close is a good persuader...

Solocle

866 posts

19 months

Saturday 19th August 2017
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robbyd said:
I agree - but a lot of people in the outside lane don't use rear view mirror so would not appreciate indicator...

Often getting close is a good persuader...
If you want to persuade them to speed up, passing them on the inside works wonders.

cmaguire

3,589 posts

44 months

Saturday 19th August 2017
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AllyBassman said:
As frustrating as it is, part of the problem is that if you keep a safe distance to the car infront, they just see you as following along rather than wanting to make progress and for them to move over when safe to do so.
Unfortunately true it would appear.
Far too regularly I come across vehicles in the outside lane that either seem to be actively obstructing progress, don't use their mirrors, or have no concept of lane discipline.
It is also not uncommon nowadays to come across vehicles in the middle or outside lanes of three-lane roads or the outside lane of two-lane roads when the other lanes are not occupied, that will baulk an overtake and if they do move aside will then move straight back to their previous position after your overtake, even after you have subsequently returned to the nearside or middle lane (dependent on traffic) in front of them.
These people really need a slap.

SVS

3,459 posts

206 months

Sunday 20th August 2017
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robbyd said:
Often getting close is a good persuader...
I reckon an indicator is better, because something flashing has some chance of catching their eye.

Whereas getting close means sacrificing safety for the sake of progress. (Not worth it, however frustrating the vehicle in front IMO.)

Also, many people find getting close to be aggressive (and can react negatively to it) or distracting (and can react unpredictably to it).

Pica-Pica

3,771 posts

19 months

Sunday 20th August 2017
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SVS said:
robbyd said:
Often getting close is a good persuader...
I reckon an indicator is better, because something flashing has some chance of catching their eye.

Whereas getting close means sacrificing safety for the sake of progress. (Not worth it, however frustrating the vehicle in front IMO.)

Also, many people find getting close to be aggressive (and can react negatively to it) or distracting (and can react unpredictably to it).
My tactic, when they are being plain unobservant or just stubborn, is to drop back inside, lane 1 if needed. Then let some one else come up right behind them and flash them out of the way. That way that late-comer has the aggro and danger. Then I just whip along and follow, sometimes overtaking both in due course.

richard sails

740 posts

194 months

Wednesday 23rd August 2017
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I tend to use my dipped beam on the motorways, when I want to ask someone to clear the outside lane for me to pass I flash then by switching back to sidelights a couple of times (anti-flash), it catches their attention in a totally non aggressive way and nine times out of ten they move out of the way pretty quickly.

Try it!


SVS

3,459 posts

206 months

Thursday 24th August 2017
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Richard, I like your 'anti flash' tactic. I'll definitely have to give that a try!