I’ve got an idea for the automotive industry. It’s hardly groundbreaking, nor will it revolutionize anything, but I still think it’s a good idea. A number of times in the past, I’ve been driving along in the centre lane and I see someone in the right lane with his left indicator on, so I slow down to let him in, and he doesn’t go. I give him enough time to see that someone is letting him in, and then I say “screw it” and speed up again, only to notice that he was not signalling left at all, he had his four-way flashers on. I couldn’t see the right-hand light because of a trailer, or other cars, or because the light was broken or burned out, or whatever. Other times, I’ll be driving in the right lane and see a car driving on the shoulder, signalling left, so I move over to clear the right lane. Again, it turns out that he was not signalling but had his hazard lights on. Since the hazards and the turn indicators flash at the same rate, there’s no way to tell the difference if you can only see one of the lights, or one is not functional. It occurred to me that there should be a way to distinguish between them, and the simplest way would be to double the flash rate of the hazard lights. This way, regardless of whether you saw one light or two, you could tell by the flash rate whether it was a turn signal or hazards.
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