Using a headtorch/ dazzling drivers

20 messages
20/02/2013 at 09:32

I've had a couple of cars flash me when I've had my torch on (an LED Lendser), even though I'm running on the pavement.  I'm finding it hard to believe I'm dazzling anybody - I've had cyclists with full beams come towards me when I've been driving and it hasn't bothered me as a driver (I would sooner somebody sharing the road be visible to me).  I just wanted to check the etiquette here just in case I am being a jerk runner!

20/02/2013 at 09:52

I've been blinded by plenty of cars in rural areas driving with full beam on. Often driving over a road hump / pothole in built up areas is enough to make it look like the car flashed, when really it's just the movement of the car. I have the head torch focused about 5 meters away, so can't see I would cause a problem. Better to be seen 

20/02/2013 at 15:39

Better to make sure that you aren't blinding drivers. It's a matter of direction and angle that your light is shining in.

Though as Also-ran says, they may not be flashing you. However if a number of drivers have had a problem with your head torch then it suggests to me that you need to change where the beam is pointing. Much as you want to be seen, blinding oncomming traffic does nothing for your, or anyone elses, safety.

cougie    pirate
20/02/2013 at 15:44
If you were blinding them then surely your torch isnt pointing in the right direction ? Unless you're running and looking at the cars ?

Do you need a headtorch on pavement or is this unlit ?
20/02/2013 at 16:55

my Bidie-In's parents live on Mull and I use a headtorch to run in the evenings. when a car comes I move to the side of the road and turn my headtorch OFF and wait till they pass. i figure it'll just confuse them.

 

20/02/2013 at 20:43

When I am driving I don't like other drivers' full beam (why on earth does it take them so long to turn it off?) and flashing lights on bikes. A straightforward light is fine and I find it difficult to believe that a humble headtorch would be a problem for a driver unless it is very strong and flashing!  Can you get someone to walk along with it while you drive towards them to see?

20/02/2013 at 22:08

Maybe they are flashing their lights to aknowledge they have seen you and make you feel safer?

20/02/2013 at 22:42
Sally

I run with a Lenser headtorch, and find it hard to imagine you're dazzling them.

I'm with Also-Ran and suspect it could just be bumps in the road that make it look as though the car drivers are flashing you.

Either way, you are perfectly in your rights to run with a headtorch to make sure you can see where you are putting your feet, and to make sure you're being seen by others, so don't worry about the etiquette...
20/02/2013 at 22:53
Also-ran wrote (see)

I've been blinded by plenty of cars in rural areas driving with full beam on. Often driving over a road hump / pothole in built up areas is enough to make it look like the car flashed, when really it's just the movement of the car. I have the head torch focused about 5 meters away, so can't see I would cause a problem. Better to be seen 

almost exactly what i was going to say, but i will add that on the country roads recently, every car has gone past full beam blazing and not one has dimmed for me as a cyclist or runner.

21/02/2013 at 08:36
Thanks for all the replies. I might ask my husband to wear it while I'm sat in the car to see how bright it is (I don't have it on full anyway). It does sort of bug me if people are being funny about it - a guy was killed near to where I live crossing the road at night recently and by all accounts the driver didn't even see him to hit the brake.
21/02/2013 at 09:33

Perhaps the beam spread isn't what you think it is.  I road-cycle with a friend, and he stupidly wears a a bright light on his helmet.  That's all fine & dandy when I'm behind, but when I'm in front and need to check for traffic all I get is dazzled by his fekkin' Lumine stuff because

a) he can't aim it properly due to the shape of his lid;
b) he bobs his head around;
c) the beam spread is wrong for anything other than handlebar mounting. 

21/02/2013 at 10:15

If it is an unlit area then it may be that car drivers are confused by the bright light bobbing around and are doing a quick flash of their full beams to see what is coming. Are you wearing any high viz clothing? If not that might help. If it has happened as often as you say and no-one has gone through a hedge (or more likely) stopped to shout at you then chances are all is fine.

21/02/2013 at 11:44
I wear flashing armbands and a high-vis vest. I think both times I was flashed the roads were lit and I was running with other people, on the pavement, who were probably wearing high-vis clothes as well. Will check the beam direction tonight.
21/02/2013 at 17:31

Wait till dark.

Go outside with someone

Get them to walk down the road, turn and face you.

Run towards them.

Find out what they saw.

22/02/2013 at 15:38

Your LED Lenser is well capable of dazzling drivers. I have one. Point it at the ground (just like bike lights do).

It's way overkill for running on the pavement, so switch it off until you really need it!

22/02/2013 at 19:08
I injured myself falling of a kerb in the dark, but don't want to use my head torch as its a) blinding and b) a bit geeky for running around the streets, so I'm thinking of using a hand torch like one of the Lensers. I think that they give better control of direction and you can turn them on and off easier.
22/02/2013 at 20:27

I use a LED Lenser H7, & when we're out on a club-run with head-torches around some of the unlit roads we use, we have 2 rules

1. If a vehicle approaches, turn the power down, or look at a steeper angle (closer to your feet)
2. If talking to club-mate, don't look at them, or cover the light with a hand

22/02/2013 at 20:56

i would be more inclined to assume they are flashing you to let you know you have been seen , although i personally don't do this! 

i have seen runners with torches , they have never caused me a problem driving and i live near some unlit fairly busy A roads which leave the city  - however , reading comments above  - maybe their torches/beam direction is different? 

i'd rather as  a driver see a torch and know something is there than no lights and suddenly something like a  bike/runner startles me as they appear without warning

utter fail at cyclists whom still don't wear helmets yet choose to cycle on busy roads  my super bug bear 

22/02/2013 at 21:20
XcurlytwigX wrote (see)

utter fail at cyclists whom still don't wear helmets yet choose to cycle on busy roads  my super bug bear 

Well it's up to them, but working where I do, I'e seen far too many head(ie; brain/skull) injuries that might not have happened, or been as bad

However......... if these numb-nuts hasd lights on in the first place,they'd still be around to tell the tale

No lights, black clothes, hoodies up, earphones in, no reflectors, no sense!!!!!!!
Suicide by Proxy!!!



 

23/02/2013 at 06:41
Thanks guys. I actually use it with the power at the lowest. I know it's a pretty bright beam - a birthday present from my husband who did his research

I'm with you on the helmet thing. Saw two young lads on the road last week obviously off to do some mountain biking off road. Helmets on their handlebars. And cyclists who rely on their back reflector in the dark .. Crazy.

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