With Hybrids using regenerative braking, as I do allot of in my Prius, I worry about the drivers behind me not knowing that I am slowing down in front of them because I am not using the brakes. I would love to see someone invent a tail light to include a green light for acceleration, a yellow light for regenerative braking or slow deceleration and the normal red light for braking or fast deceleration. It could be part of the third stop light fixture. Just a thought I wanted to put out there.
Regenerative braking is what the vehicle does when you step on the brake pedal. It uses some of the energy from the brakes stopping the car to recharge the battery
As long as you don’t slow quickly, followers should see the distance between you shorten and still have time to react.
If you’re pushing the brake pedal (enough for regenerative braking but not enough to engage the regular brakes) the light’s still coming on. If you’re just coasting, you’re not slowing so rapidly as to cause a problem. Nothing to worry about.
I agree. I don’t feel they slow down w/o braking any more than rapidly than downshifting a regular transmission which does not light up the brake lights either. No problem.
I’ve driven my friends Civic Hybrid a couple of times…
The regenerative braking does NOT stop you faster then regular brakes…In fact it may stop you slower. If the car needs to stop faster…then the regular brakes will kick in.
Regenerative braking in the Camry hybrid works when you are coasting, although it doesn’t slow you down enough to need a brake light. When you press the brake pedal, the brake light should come on whether you are using the regenerative brakes or the traditional brakes. If they don’t, you have a problem related to the brake light, not likely related to the regenerative brakes.
Multicolored signal lights on the back of cars? Really? Why not just take a train or a bus and leave the driving to someone else? We have cars that can park themselves, GPS for people who are too illiterate to read a map, and detection systems for those drivers who don’t know how to look where they are going and how to stay in their lane. These days you can even get a driver’s license without knowing how to parallel park.
In my opinion, we are making it too easy to drive. It’s a privilege, not a right, and driving aptitude used to be a source of pride.
Oooooh, Whitey, No more coffee for you today!
Still much of what you say makes sense. I disagree about GPS, though. I think it is safer to let the nice Australian lady provide directions than to look at a map while I drive.
Regurgitated braking isn’t the only way to slow down without brake lights. Downshifting or taking your foot off the gas does the same thing. You can always worry about the other drivers; you just have to do it in moderation.
“I disagree about GPS, though. I think it is safer to let the nice Australian lady provide directions than to look at a map while I drive.”
I agree plus the new ones even show me what lane I will need say three miles away, which when I am on a busy highway with many lanes, can be very handy. Often by the time the sign shows you that the exit is to the left five lanes over it is too late to safely get to that exit. My GPS not only tells me to keep left, but it shows a map close up that shows individual lanes. Not perfect but when in an unfamiliar area, it IMO makes for safer driving.
JEM: “Often by the time the sign shows you that the exit is to the left five lanes over it is too late to safely get to that exit.”
Amazing. Truck drivers pulling a 53’ trailer, driving 60,000-80,000 pound rigs have managed to do this without GPS. It’s a miracle!!!
JT, I am not suggesting you look at a map while you drive. When I need to look at a map or written directions, I pull over. Also, how hard is it to plan your itinerary before you hit the road?
Have you ever been in a store when the credit card machine breaks down, or the cash register stops working because the power is out? When that happens to some people, they know how to do the math, adding the proper sales tax and giving you the proper change, while others just give you that deer in the headlights look and close the store. Which one would you rather rely on in a crisis?
Technology can be wonderfully convenient, and I see your point about GPS. I just wish it wasn’t used as a substitute for skill.
Getting Enough Fiber, Whitey ?
“Amazing. Truck drivers pulling a 53’ trailer, driving 60,000-80,000 pound rigs have managed to do this without GPS. It’s a miracle!!! ”
I’ll bet that trucker has made that same run hundreds of times and know the roads.
“When I need to look at a map or written directions, I pull over.”
Since that’s not an emergency then you’d have to exit a limited access highway just to look at a map. That’s silly when you could use a GPS. My GPS doesn’t even require my stopping or taking my eyes off the road while driving, both making for a safer trip.
I just wish it wasn’t used as a substitute for skill.
Not all of use it as a substitute skill. My aviation training qualifies me as having requisite map skills. I study the map before I drive and the GPS fills in the details, allowing me to focus on safely operating the vehicle. It’s particularly useful in unfamiliar territory. The GPS supplements map skills, not supplants them.
I am going to join the group disagreeing with Whitey on the GPS issue.
Like CSA, I study the roap map before driving. This way, when my GPS gives me the usual three choices of routes, I can make an intelligent choice by knowing the possible routes beforehand.
While I am driving, I can pay closer attention to the traffic around me by not having to constantly monitor exit signs as they come into view. Having a calm voice tell me approximately 3 miles ahead of time that I will be exiting soon, allows me to begin planning a safe move to the right lane.
And, then there is the invaluable ability of the GPS system to re-route you instantaneously when necessary. If you are driving through an unfamiliar area and you have to take a detour as a result of an accident/construction/flooding, etc, you will be given cues for a new alternate path to follow to your destination.
Only someone who has not used a good GPS system would think that it makes a driver less safe. Hearing auditory cues well ahead of time, and then having them repeated when appropriate, is safer than having to monitor exit signs while driving at expressway speeds. It is NOT necessary to look at a GPS screen while driving.
All-in-all, I feel more focused on the road and more confident that I am taking the right path to my destination when I am using my GPS. Being more focused and more confident=being a better driver.
Often by the time the sign shows you that the exit is to the left five lanes over it is too late to safely get to that exit
One “secret” that not everyone knows is that in some states, on the signs that are one or two miles ahead of the exit, the exit number is aligned to the left for a left exit and aligned to the right for a right exit.
CSA: “I’ll bet that trucker has made that same run hundreds of times and know the roads.”
That might be the case if you have the experience and luck to get a dedicated route, but most truckers don’t start out that way. Most have to earn their stripes by driving on unfamiliar roads.
VDC: “Only someone who has not used a good GPS system would think that it makes a driver less safe.”
Fortunately, I never said that. It’s the lack of skills I think is unsafe, not the devices themselves.
VDC: “…is safer than having to monitor exit signs while driving at expressway speeds.”
I should hope you would monitor road signs with or without a GPS. That IS a safety issue.
I would imagine most truckers now use GPS devices as well.
As for monitoring road signs, aside from speed limit signs (which rarely provide useful info on interstates) and orange construction signs, there’s not a lot of safety related info on road signs.
You would imagine wrong. Very few truckers use GPS units, mainly because consumer units might direct your truck under a bridge or underpass with insufficient clearance, or down a street where semis are not allowed, proving, once again, there is no substitute for proper trip planning.
"I should hope you would monitor road signs with or without a GPS. That IS a safety issue. "
How does not monitoring exit signs make one less safe?
Please note that I did not say anything about “road signs”.
I am referring only to the signs denoting exits.
I’m curious to hear your theory behind that statement if you are actually referring to exit signs.
Not monitoring road signs DOES make one less safe.
5-1/2 years ago, I was in the right lane on a divided 4-lane highway with bumper-to bumper traffic in both southbound lanes. There was a van to the left of me with what appeared to be two migrant construction laborers. They suddenly realized they were going past their exit, and without thinking tried to make the exit. They slammed right into the side of my car, both of us going 70 mph. $7,000 damage to my car, but fortunately nobody was injured. The accident could easily have been serious.
Safe highway driving requires a number of skills, but two that they were lacking in are (1) plan ahead and watch the roadsigns, and (2) never do anything in a panic mode…if you realize you’re missing your exit, take the next one and swing back around.
MB–I think that you missed my point.
In an earlier response, I mentioned that one of the advantages of using a GPS is that the auditory cues made it possible to not monitor exit signs. Then, Whitey posted a response in which he stated that not watching “road signs” is dangerous–which of course it is.
The migrant workers undoubtedly did not have a GPS device (or the GPS gave auditory cues in English, which they did not understand!), and without GPS it is vital to watch exit signs carefully in order to not do a boneheaded maneuver like they did when they wrecked your car. Before I got a GPS system, I thought about the “never getting lost” factor, but until I began using it, I didn’t think about the reality that I can now focus more closely on the road and the cars around me, since I don’t have to worry about passing my exit.
Of course, not monitoring road signs is a safety issue, and if someone does not have a GPS system (or a good navigator on board), not monitoring exit signs also becomes a safety issue.
I always take careful notice of road signs, and having GPS has not led me to fail to look at road signs. Exit signs, on the other hand, are not really something that I need to watch anymore, as the GPS gives me more than adequate warning that my exit is coming up in a few miles.
Just for the sake of clarity, I think that we all need to use the term “road signs” for the signs that tell us about speed limit changes, construction zones, curves, hazards, and other genuine safety issues. I think that there will be less confusion if we use the term “exit sign” for what it obviously refers to, and if we use the term “road sign” for those signs that do have a genuine safety function.