2017 Subaru Impreza

With all the advances in cars isn’t it time to bring brake light up to speed? As it is, brake lights don’t distinguish between a soft nudge and a full-on screeching slam. So here’s the solution: Virtually every vehicle has a place where the rear window meets the roof. In that space place a row of red lights, all the way across. When the driver steps on the brakes, the regular rear end brake lights work as normal, but that band of light responds to brake pedal pressure by starting at each end and filling in towards the middle as pressure increases. This is instantly obvious to anyone following how hard the brakes are being applied. Further, in a panic stop situation, the whole bar would flash for further warning. And then, additionally, a yellow light could be at each end to serve as an additional turn signal, and this yellow light could stick out just a bit so the turn signals could be seen from both front and back, and from the side as well, something you can’t see in today’s cars.
What do you think?

There are aftermarket products that achieve the objective you are outlining. However, the real objective you are trying to achieve is not better brake lights, but rather less chance of a rear-ending collision or other types of accidents caused by not noticing a braking vehicle ahead. Here is the solution and it has been proven effective.

Exactly this has been researched as long as I’ve been driving (a looooong time!). Is is easy to do but apparently illegal at the moment;

“Graduated brake lights, such as those that get brighter or that light up gradually in sections, are not allowed according to Canadian, U.S. or United Nations’ regulations,” says Transport Canada spokesperson Maryse Durette. “Additional (brake) lights are, however, allowed in Canada if they do not interfere with what is required by regulation.”

NHTSA studies have shown some value to this so maybe it will eventually add to our distraction levels. Well, if the driver’s head isn’t looking down texting!

Article from 2006- https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB116121365277996994

Thanks for your reply. There is a general rule in our society that if someone designs a superb gizmo that really works well, you can be sure it will be discontinued and replaced with an inferior design. Likewise, if there is an idea for a really good product someone will declare it illegal - with no reasoning made available.

It has taken us a long time to figure out that beck-up cameras are a good idea, and ought to be standard. I personally know two people who have killed little children backing up. Some say yes, but it’s expensive. So I ask, put a dollar price on a child’s life. I believe such cameras will be mandatory before too long.

Remember when set belts were barely even an option, and people said you would get trapped in the car? And what about turn signals. People were confused about which way to push the lever so they objected to those.

In short, people will always object to change. I still think the brake lights idea is superior to what we have and will probably find its way into cars before too long.

Already required as of Jan 1 this year. They have been available for well over a decade. Seat belts were in cars a very long time before being made mandatory. Same for tire-pressure monitoring, ABS and stability control.

So this statement;

I believe this not a “general rule” as you say. Quite the contrary. Betamax vs VHS being one exception! :smile:

@GorehamJ made a good point about auto-braking as well. Developed without regulation, installed when no one asked for it and available for sale right now in a number of cars.

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Some newer cars (BMW, Mercedes, Porsche) will flash the center high mounted brake on high deceleration events.

An outfit called Admore has for sale an add-on light bar that does most of what I am suggesting. Is this legal? Yet they are selling them. I also heard BMW has a similar brake light. Again, is this legal?

With yellow flashing brake lights, what’s the deal? Are these things legal or not? And if they are legal, why aren’t they on all cars?

Someone has been attending Conspiracy Meetings.

No conspiracy meetings, just a long list of products I really liked, and when they ended their lives and I went back for a replacement,I found them discontinued and replaced by worse ones. Some great reading glasses, Black & Decker hand held mixer, certain cell phones, a great electric drill, that sort of thing.