Idea: Green Tail Lights For Accelerating Cars

This is an old idea of mine, but I’m writing about it now before self-driving cars take over and it won’t make any sense.

The idea is simple: add green lights to the array of tail lights in cars. When the car accelerates, the green lights will light up the same way red lights work when it decelerates.

“You must be crazy!” I hear you say. “This will just make everyone drive faster! Don’t we have enough accidents already?! ” But consider this: while the green lights signal to the driver behind you that you are accelerating, the lack of them signals that you are decelerating. And the advantages of having this information, I think, may outweigh the disadvantages of having the green lights on.

This is something we can experiment with, the same way they experimented in different countries with countdown timers for traffic lights. And this one is just about the Chinese traffic light experiment. In other countries the effect was different, so there really isn’t one answer whether this kind of an idea is good or bad – it depends on the driving culture per-country.

UPDATE: According to Wikipedia “Some jurisdictions, such as the US states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho, permit vehicles to be equipped with auxiliary rear signal systems displaying green light when the accelerator is depressed, yellow light when the vehicle is coasting, and red light when the brake is depressed. Such systems have in the past been sold as aftermarket accessories, but are today seldom seen in traffic.”

4 Replies to “Idea: Green Tail Lights For Accelerating Cars”

  1. As a survivor of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), my subsequent rehabilitation after surviving a coma has allowed my reaching of the Master’s Degree level of education, currently in progress at Southern A&M University under Dr. Madan Kundu in the Department of Disability Studies. Needing access to a pilot-study session, my brain activity needs to be recorded in real-time Functional MRI, while interacting with two separate but parallel computer algorithms of simulated high-speed with low visibility driving conditions, as stimulus to the brain which will show conclusive evidence needed to complete Thesis research about improving Intra-vehicular communication for people with disabilities (TBI and several others) proposing ‘reaction’ to video of green, amber, and red running lights on the backs of motor vehicles (Alternative Ha) to positively denote positive and negative changes in speed awareness, compared to ‘red-only’ (Null Ho) for study, as bio-mechanical neural trace evidence.
    The WHO is currently studying the occurring TBI disability consequences as a result of traffic collisions at high speeds, during low-visibility. We need to study this in the USA as well. This pilot-study will support my Hypothesis. After this research, the feasibility of changing from dull/bright red-only running-lights on the backs of all vehicles to a system of congruence with the 3-color system currently only used for intersection signaling can be explored. This is an important pioneering effort to begin this process for establishing empirical evidence. The idea was mine alone, dating back to the 1980s in its evolution to addressing this problem of,” What does a ‘red’ light on the back of a vehicle communicate to the next vehicle in traffic? NOTHING… A car can be going 100 mph or be stopped, and it will still be bright or dull red. We need running-lights on vehicles to match the red/yellow/green system of intersection signal lights, in an exact form, to reduce Traumatic Brain Injury.” But now, three States (Washington, Idaho, and Oregon) allow for multicolor auxiliary lighting systems identical to what I am proposing in my thesis.
    Can you send me contact information for the correct department for research? As a Master’s Degree student at Southern A&M University, it is necessary for me to obtain accurate research on NTSB Policy on preventing Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) due to multiple-vehicular rear end collisions during high-speed low-visibility driving conditions. Three States, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, allow for green lamps to function as rear signals when the accelerator is depressed. All licensed drivers with disabilities (like myself, with TBI) need this communication access to overcome reaction-time deficits. My thesis will propose this (addition of Green as effective communication)as an assistive technology for universal adoption for all licensed vehicles in the future. 1.0 PROBLEM: CONGRUENCE BETWEEN TRAFFIC SIGNALS AND INTER-VEHICULAR COMMUNICATION; A NEED FOR: Multicolor Auxiliary Rear Signal Systems (MARSS) as: Access for Drivers with Disabilities

    Your opinions are welcome. Can you help me find the right person to write to about investigating what has been done in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, to address this problem of needing a way to improve reaction times for drivers with disabilities during high-speed low-visibility driving conditions; as universal access for drivers with disabilities>?
    Barry Paul Vining

  2. Have had this idea going around in my head for a while. Being a Civil Engineer, and real estate appraiser, i’m just frowned upon when bringing this subject up.
    Decided to look into the subject now an It took me less than a minute to find this website.

    One thing I thought, is that the LED tail light should be green when accelerating, blink in green when starting to let go of the gas pedal, yellow when coasting and red when braking.

    A lot of accident could be prevented, also the average mileage of cars would increase if everyone started to use less of the break an gas pedal, by knowing exactly when the car in front is coasting.

    Just an opinion.
    Leonardo SD

  3. I agree that it could help, and obviously you put more thought to this than I did :)

    As you can see in the post, this is even allowed in some states in the US, but obviously no car has this kind of lights. And like I said in the start of the post… with cars that drive themselves “just around the corner” I don’t think anyone will put in the effort.

    Thanks for writing.

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