Using high beams to get attention?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by racer, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. racer

    racer Long timer

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    I was riding back from the unveiling of Nicky Hayden's statue in Owensboro, Ky last Friday and ahead there was a car on the left ready to pull out, then on the right, another pulling up to the stop sign as I approached the intersection. I turned on my high beams to draw attention to my approach.

    On a ride, the week before, one of my riding buddies told me the headlight on my Africa Twin looked dim and I should check the aim. The AT uses only the left LED headlight until the high beams are used.

    In the past I have flashed my high beams in this situation, however, I've had second thoughts about this practice, since it may indicate to some that it's okay to go ahead and pull out. I've also occasionally weaved back and forth to attract attention, with good results....so far.

    I usually wear hi-viz and my next helmet will be a white one. Any thoughts here, about using the high beam to attract attention?
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  2. yellowcarbon

    yellowcarbon Been here awhile

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    I agree that flashing the high light can be mistaken as a signal for them to pull out. Swerving seem the smart move. Look up the SMIDY maneuver. It really seems to get the attention of drivers. I have put it into my regular daily riding and it seems to make a difference. But I also ride with high beams on and a high vis vest.
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  3. Tall Man

    Tall Man Priest, Temple of Syrinx

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    This subject makes the rounds in the forum on a recurring basis, and it always ends the same way: most riders, myself included, consider the flashing of one's high beams as a well-nigh universal and unambiguous signal for the recipent(s) of the flashed lights to proceed. This is particularly true, and critical, when facing oncoming traffic that wants to turn left across your lane of travel.

    A minority will quote the same scenario when claiming that flashing one's headlights should be done to attract the attention of said traffic, so that they don't turn in front the rider that intends to proceed straight without stopping, as his right-of-way would otherwise allow. Obviously, a misinterpretation of flashed lights could end badly for the rider who uses this modus operandi.
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  4. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

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    Don't flash your high-beams, keep them on during the day wherever is not illegal.
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  5. jay547

    jay547 Long timer

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    I leave mine on high. I sometimes use the weave too.
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  6. maximus_flavius

    maximus_flavius Long timer

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    Have you tried shooting off flares?
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  7. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @oneworldcycles

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    This is not the kind of thread I was expecting. :dirtdog
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  8. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Scottsdale

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    My greatest fear is somebody impatiently attempting to make the gap between me and the car in front of me. This can be side roads, parking lots or left turners. I used to ride with my high beams on all the time, but now I slow as I approach the suspect driver and prepare to take evasive action. This is hard to do and a real pain because most of my roads are 45-50mph surface streets. When possible I try not to leave much of a gap. Anybody have better practices? I'd like to hear them.
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  9. Tall Man

    Tall Man Priest, Temple of Syrinx

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    I think I know what you mean here.

    If so: :thumb
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  10. jay547

    jay547 Long timer

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    This ain't Jo Momma. :muutt
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  11. CCitis

    CCitis Been here awhile

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    I leave mine on in the day. On my Strom, I used to piss people off... they would flash their high beams back or make "gestures" at me. This always made me chuckle, because it proved that it was working, they could see me.
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  12. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

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  13. Rucksta

    Rucksta SS Blowhard

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    Leave a bigger gap and let them in.
    Life's to short to be in a hurry.
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  14. Whodatschrome

    Whodatschrome Long timer

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    I wouldn't flash my high beams for fear that the other driver might think I'm signaling them that it's ok for them to pull out. Now on the other hand, I had a Baja Designs OnX8 light bar with the strobe mode function. Whenever I came to a intersection (or a car) that I didn't feel comfortable at, I would flip the strobe on...aint nobody pulls out in front of a strobe light.
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  15. MauiCowie

    MauiCowie Long timer

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  16. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    I'm not afraid of that, I simply am ready to deal with whatever they may do, looking for wheel movement, driver action, and all as you say you do. I don't slow down unless I see an indication that they may or are move and already have an idea of what I can do. No flashing, no high beams. I have had some interesting slow down with eventual eye contact with some who start creeping out or suddenly realize they are pulling out in front of me, virtually stopping when they have pushed too far. Usually ends with me giving an exaggerated shrug with a "what the hell are you doing" attitude. No filp offs or the like. Haven't had a close call in a couple decades. Much more danger for me to fall on my ass riding a rough dirt road or trail somewhere in the boonies.

    How's that work with the kid looking down and texting as they drive?

    It works great on the non-distracted driver, won't work for a hill of beans if they aren't looking. That is the problem on thinking high beams, weaving, or flashing lights will do the job. They don't work if the possible offenders aren't looking...

    Is that more like the discussion you want Ginger Beard?
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  17. Snowbird

    Snowbird Cereal Killer

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    Move to the side of your lane AWAY from anyone who might pull out in front of you. If there is one on each side, thread the needle, slowing as you go through. If there are multiple lanes with a gap in one, watch for someone to dart out of that opening. Leave you beams on low, except at night. You can temporarily blind another driver with high beams, even in the daytime.
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  18. max384

    max384 Bandaided

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    Don't flash high beams to get their attention. Many, many, many people will interpret this as you allowing them into traffic ahead of them. From other threads, it appears this may be location dependent. Around here, it is definitely a universal sign to let someone in. Regardless, why risk it?

    High beams and auxiliary lights have definitely decreased drivers pulling out in front of me... But it still happens occasionally. Just last week a little old lady pulled right out in front of me. She never turned her head left to even look. I could have been driving an ambulance with lights blazing and she would have never seen me. You can't prevent all of them. You just have to always be hyper-aware and ready to take evasive actions. I already knew she was going to pull out in front of me, based on her never having turned her head, and how she kept creeping her car into the intersection. I slowed down and moved to the left. When she did pull out, it wasn't a surprise, and I was in a great position to avoid a collision, and it wasn't a big deal. If I weren't paying attention, it could have been bad.
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  19. D R

    D R Been here awhile

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    The irony of people saying that is the SMIDSY maneuver has the same affect of attracting attention as flashing the headlight, minus the increased chance of a misinterpreted signal.

    I'll take SMIDSY for the win.....
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  20. CCitis

    CCitis Been here awhile

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    It doesn't. That's why I employ the other tactics talked about here... taking time through an intersection, watching the tires, anticipating they are going to go..etc etc. In my book, increasing visibility is only one tool to help keep the shiny side up.
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