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Amber rear turn signals?

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by Stuart, Oct 4, 2011.

?

Who wants amber turn signals on their Model S?

  1. Definitely want!

    76.6%
  2. Don't care either way.

    16.9%
  3. Don't want.

    4.5%
  4. "Tell them I hate them!"

    1.9%
  1. Stuart

    Stuart Roadster#326, ModelS#1409

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
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    San Jose, CA
    Below is a suggestion I made to the good people at Tesla. They requested I post it it to the teslamotorsclub forum because they're interested in seeing how much support there is from other people.

    Elon Musk has talked a lot about safety being a priority and I'm very glad about that. But why do the Roadster and the Model S both have red turn signals at the back instead of amber?

    The car already has two other sets of red lights at the back -- the red rear lights and the red brake lights. Having a third meaning for red lights at the back means that when another driver sees a red light at the back of your car, it takes their brain a split second to determine whether that's just a red rear light, or a red brake light, or a red signal that you're about to change lanes. The only visual difference between a driver tapping the brake pedal and a red turn signal is that with tapping the brake pedal both red brake lights blink together, whereas with a turn signal only one red light blinks, but discerning that difference is only possible if the other driver is able to see both the left and right light clusters at the same time. For example, a driver behind you one lane to the left in traffic may only be able to see the left cluster, not the right. When they see a red blink in the left light cluster does that mean you're slowing down, or that you're about to change lanes? The split second of extra time it takes them to realize it's a turn signal instead of a brake light could be, in some cases, the difference between an accident or not.

    NHTSA reports I found on the web seem to support this intuitive reasoning. As is often the case with such studies, the effects can be small, and the causality sometimes unclear, but even if some might claim that the results are inconclusive, it's hard to understand why Tesla would not err on the side of safety.

    Some quotes from "The Influence of Rear Turn Signal Characteristics (September 2008)":

    <http://www.nhtsa.gov/DOT/NHTSA/NRD/Multimedia/PDFs/Crash%20Avoidance/2008/811%20037.pdf>

    Some quotes from "Effectiveness of Amber Rear Turn Signals for Reducing Rear Impacts (April 2009)":

    <http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811115.PDF>

    And some other interesting comments I found on the web:

    <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automotive_lighting#Turn_signal_colour>

    <http://mbz.org/articles/lighting/amber/>

    Given that for other markets Tesla has to produce the Model S with amber rear turn signals, why not sell it with the same amber rear turn signals in the US also?
     
  2. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Personally, I've always greatly preferred cars with yellow turn blinkers, for all the reasons you describe.
     
  3. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    I agree. Amber is required for Europe I believe. Why not make them all the same?
     
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Silicon Valley
    This has been discussed at length before: turn signals

    I much prefer amber turn signals. The short answer is with one glance at a car you can immediately tell if it is signaling when you see amber.
    With red you have to wait for the flash to recognize the turn signal.
    Also no chance of mistaking a turn signal for a brake light.
     
  5. Adm

    Adm Active Member

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    Make it a poll to keep it simple. I am for amber...
     
  6. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    I think the last time we talked about this amber was the consensus and that's definitely my preference. I always saw red as a cheesy cost savings measure.
     
  7. Dragon

    Dragon Lightning Green Fairytale

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    Italy
    I didn't even know that the turn lights for non-european Tesla vehicles are red. I've only once in my life met a car with red turn lights on the street and was a bit confused about it. So I am for free amber lights for everyone!
     
  8. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    Germany
    make it amber for all future Teslas, not only EU.
     
  9. meloccom

    meloccom Moderator Aus/NZ

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    Given that Tesla will be required to make amber turn signals for non-US markets and their relatively low volumes even for the Model S I think they would be crazy to develop a US specific tail light. A compromise might be 'clear' lenses and colored bulbs that can be changed for the relevant preference and market, but that doesn't look likely based on the design of the Beta's tail lights.
     
  10. Tommy

    Tommy Member

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    I like amber also, from Tesla's viewpoint, using red might be as a means to limit gray market cars rather than a cost savings measure.
     
  11. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    We have amber at the front, why not at the back also?
     
  12. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Amber for me. It always amused me VW would bring over cars with red turn signals while the EU ones had amber. I always swapped them out.
     
  13. Charged_Up

    Charged_Up Member

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    amber makes sense to me too...
     
  14. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    I meant historically and more generally for American cars. Supposedly green was a historically popular color of dash lighting also because it was the cheapest.
     
  15. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Another vote for amber turn signals..


    Also amber for top (third) tailight on regen slowing. Red on all three for brake depression.
     
  16. mt2

    mt2 Member

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    Amber.

    We should all be flattered that Tesla asked him to come ask us. But really, this is a no-brainer.
     
  17. Laurent

    Laurent Member

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    Agreed. This is a no-brainer. I don't understand why they would even consider putting red turning signals. It's unsafe.
     
  18. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Amber looks good! ...(she always does...:wink: )
     
  19. mt2

    mt2 Member

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    She's no Catalina White!
     

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