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Brake Light Out

Alert driver that brake light is not working
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It seems to me that there should be a recognized and common signal that a driver of a car traveling behind a vehicle with a non-working brake light can use to alert that driver of the defect. As a courtesy, drivers often signal other drivers of the presence of speed traps. This would be similar, and lead to safer vehicles and safer driving.

As a driver it is almost impossible to know that your own brake light isn't working. Headlights are easy enough. Turn them on, get out of the car and check. But, you can't do that with brake lights. Once, luckily, someone on a motorcycle came up to my driver's side window at a stop light to let me know that both my brake lights were out. I had no idea. Often, the yearly checkup may be the only time someone finds out a brake light doesn't work. Or if they are stopped by police.

Since my own incident, I have noticed more than once at traffic lights, stop signs and even just driving that the car in front of me has one or more brake lights that aren't working. It is a dangerous condition, but there is no easy way to let the driver know. Therefore, I suggest two short beeps of the horn as a signal that a brake light of the car you are following is not working. Of course, there would have to be advertising so that everyone would recognize the significance of the signal. But, I think such a signal, or one like it, could easily help make the roads safer.

Adelphi, Jul 17 2014

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       Back up to a white wall and check in your mirrors.
MechE, Jul 17 2014
  

       When I was a kid people commonly informed each other via voice and hand signals of light conditions. No more, we're too many in too small a space and too insensitive.   

       When I do this today people look surprised, scared.   

       [Adelphi] that motorcyclist was probably me. Welcome to the Halfbakery.
normzone, Jul 17 2014
  

       I'll add to what [MechE] wrote: back up to near that white (or light-colored) wall at night, then press your brakes and check in your mirrors.
Vernon, Jul 18 2014
  

       + I always want to tell people when their brake lights are out! I chased a woman that I worked with to tell her and she was afraid I was stalking her!
xandram, Jul 18 2014
  

       Welcome [Adelphi], and [xandram] that's hysterical. Good thing she didn't call the cops on you.
blissmiss, Jul 18 2014
  

       Current cars are - are they not? - equipped with a warning light on the dashboard that indicates any bulb failure. What happens if the warning light fails, I don't know.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 18 2014
  

       My car has an idiot light for that. It only comes on when the burned-out bulb is "active" so if it is a brake light the warning will only turn on when you press the brakes. Figuring out which brake light it is requires more attention.
DIYMatt, Jul 18 2014
  
      
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