Arborbridge wrote:This is all quite interesting. In the old days, just activating the pedal would bring on the brake light whether the car slowed or not. Now, the brake light can come on whether you press the pedal or not, in theory.
In the old days, a brake light was a hazard warning which it would be very foolish not to take seriously. And the best way to start a multi-vehicle pile-up on a busy motorway was for some twerp to brake when he didn't really need to.
Let's call his braking force X. So the car behind him sees his brake lights and brakes with force X, plus a bit, because he doesn't know yet what has prompted driver 1 to do this. Better safe than sorry.
The car behind him
brake lights and brakes a bit harder than him, and the guy behind him
does the same thing. Six cars back in the queue, the required braking force has at least doubled, and the likelihood of a proper carambolage
is becoming more real by the second. It happened to a friend who was number ten in a sixteen vehicle shunt on the M4. A good job (for him) that he was driving a Volvo estate and not a shopping car.
The point is, each driver is behaving quite rationally to an unknown and unexplained situation in front of him. Yes, we could certainly object that everyone should be driving within his stopping distance down to zero, but when was the last time you actually saw that happening on a motorway? The gaps between cars would be so large that the road's traffic capacity would be massively reduced.
I'm not saying that nobody is at fault here - just that human nature is the way it is. Brake lights coming on just because somebody is no longer actively accelerating is something that we'll all have to get used to, I suppose?
Okay, fire away.