• Changing the indicator with any other bulb may cause miscommunication with other road users and may result in accidents.
• When it comes to rear parking lights, they are usually red; the braking lights are also red, but not the same intensity as the rear parking lights.
When you shop for a car or envision your dream car, what do you imagine?
Do you think of ‘pimping’ your ride by adding a customized number plate, or maybe changing the colour of your car or putting matte paint to stand out?
While it’s all well and good to personalize your car, there may be some alterations you make oblivious to the fact that you may compromise on your own safety and that of your fellow motorists.
Today, we discuss the don’ts when it comes to ‘pimping’ your ride that may lead to accidents and other direct or indirect problems on the road.
All automotive manufacturers are monitored by governing bodies to ensure vehicles rolled out meet safety standards.
However, once the vehicles leave the factory, it becomes the work of the law enforcers to ensure road rules are adhered to.
When it comes to a vehicle’s lights, the Society of Automotive Engineers International has set out guidelines on the type and colour that should be used as a standard to ensure there is no confusion and to minimize chances of accidents on the road.
For instance, the vehicle signal/indicator is always orange – which is achieved by either having an orange bulb on a clear lens or vice versa depending with region.
Changing the indicator with any other bulb may cause miscommunication with other road users and may result in accidents.
When it comes to rear parking lights, they are usually red; the braking lights are also red, but not the same intensity as the rear parking lights.
The rear fog lights have the same sharp intensity as brake lights.
To differentiate between fog lights and brake lights, manufacturers either put one fog light on
the driver’s side or if they are two, they are far away from the brake lights (either on the bumper or on the tailgate).
When you drive behind someone for extended periods at night, you may not be able to pick a change or increase in light when someone brakes if you blink.
For this reason the brake lights are made to be much more brighter than the rear parking lights so that you can tell a sudden increase in light. A mandatory third brake light at the top-most centre was also introduced on all vehicles in the year 2000. In some models, the third brake light only works when the park lights are switched on while in others the third brake light is on all the time.
Apart from vehicle body markers (small dull lights) that are usually put on to edges of trucks and buses, having any other
striking light at the back of the car alters the rate at which the brain is supposed to react before the driver can act in case of an emergency. It becomes even worse if you have blinking lights at the back of your car whether red or any other colour.
This has a big effect on the human brain (called the bucha effect) that may cause nausea and result in accidents (direct effect) or long time illness (indirect effect)
At some point in our driving we have gone past the city camera flashes at night or ambulances/fire engines have gone past us in traffic at night and we can all recall the kind of effect we are all left with whenever we come under these three conditions. Always ensure that your brake lights are working in the desired conditions.
Lastly, before you change the colour of your indicators, parking breaks reverse bulbs or before you put those blinking lights think of the repercussions. Yes you might think it’s fashionable, but it might affect someone negatively.
Until next Thursday, keep safe.
The writer is the owner of Boosted Auto automotive repair shop
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