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Red Rear Blinkers on US Cars

Why do we have them? The rest of the world uses Orange/Yellow ones which are so much easier to see. I have to look twice to make sure that the other guy ahead of me in the next lane over is moving into my lane or braking! Even the foreign car makers in the recent years have started to conform to this hare-brained idea of red rear blinkers!

Maybe someone can shed light on why this is happening? Maybe the Car Guys?!

It’s cheaper. You have one housing, one lamp (w/multiple elements for incandescent), one connector.

I remember the first car I got with separate turn lamps. What a PITA for trailering. I had to buy a separate isolation module to combine the functionality for the single trailer lamp. Back then, everyone I knew frowned on the idea of a separate turn lamp. Times change.

The human brain is wired to detect the flashing over the color. With the advent of LED brake/turn lamps, I don’t see how you can miss them. They’re practically blinding in intensity. And the rapid rise/fall times make them stand out even more.

This actually happened to me some 30+ years ago…

Driving down a hill from school…this woman in front of me is slowing down and had her right turn signal on (at least I thought). So as she approached 5mph I pulled left around her…she turned right into me totaling my car. It turned out her left light assembly wasn’t working…and what I thought was her right turn signal was her pumping her brakes (as you should when trying to slow-down/stop on a snowy hill).

Our Dodge Spirit We Had For 17 Years Had Factory Amber Rear T-Signals

The car was built in Connecticut I think (CA emissions stickers), lived at LAX airport doing a short stint as a rental and then served us well for 17 years.

You are right about trailer wiring. I was supposed to buy a module for it. I hate to cut into a car’s harness or even use those little blue bayonet wiring splicer gizmos. My local salvage yard provided me with a taillight harness from a similar car for free (“Just bring us some metal, sometime.”) I soldered my trailer wires into the new “used” harness and just plugged it in on both sides. I like to do that because I keep cars so long that if I ever have to diagnose a wiring problem, I can just switch some plugs and go back to box stock. I don’t remember needing that module. I think it worked just fine without it.

Thanks TwinTurbo and MikeinNH for the quick responses, appreciate it. I like to keep cars a very long time (as long as they are running) and at some point in the next 5-6 years we might move to Europe in which case we might end up taking our Ford Freestyle with us. I guess at that time we will just have to pay for the tail lights to be converted to the European standard at that time . :frowning:

When I first started driving, I felt there should be three lights on the rear of the vehicle. 1. Green for on the gas. 2. Yellow for off the gas. 3. Red for applying the brakes. I notice some city buses use a form of this system. Anything to take the guess work out of driving behind some people. Also, no matter what color scheme, some individuals are too busy or ??? to use their blinkers mp matter what color.

What’s the difference, nobody uses them anyway!

I usually turn my signal on before I hit the brake pedal. Though my Civic has the multiple light assembly

The rest of the world uses Orange/Yellow

I don’t mind amber, it’s a good idea but this IMOO is another classic example of “Europe does it so it must be right” & “America does not so America is full of slow thinking dolts.” I’m being tongue in cheek, not abrasive.

96-97 Taurus
Aerostar vans… we do use amber and I am sure there are several other examples.

I have to agree with the poster that amber is much more visable, especially in poor visablity conditions, especially when the brake lights and blinkers are stacked in the same red module.

Besides, when I find myself in a hazardous situation like suddenly finding myself at the tail end of a stopped line on the highway for an accident, I turn on my emergency flashers to warn anyone coming up behind me, and amber would be much more obvious.

I also wonder why many vehicles including European vehicles have the front directionals in the same modele immediately above or below the headlamps…where they are impossible to see at night when the lamps are on.

The reason is cost. But I still think amber would be better.

Personally I don’t care if they’re red or amber, as long as people use them! Has anyone besides me noticed that on some of the newer cars with amber turn signals that at night they’re so bright that they almost hurt your eyes and wreck your night vision for a while?

This was back in the early 80’s on a Mazda truck. I’m curious how you ran the lamps. On my trailer, one filament is used for both brake and turn signal. The other filament is parking(running) light. If I combined both the stop and turn signals from the truck on that one filament, then the turn signal would not work as long as the brake light was on. The module took care of this issue. How did you wire it up to overcome that?

It’s probably so the dipwad behind you on their cell phone might actually notice it and slow down