From The Plastic Society: Mustang Pyrotechnics Light Show

I posted this over at my other blog, The Plastic Soceity, but thought it might be appropriate for the movers and shakers who ride bicycles along with flow of traffic:

“Perhaps not as annoying as Mary Hart’s voice, but the new Ford Mustang “sequential” turn signals are distracting. I was running errands in the car today, and a Mustang came up on my right, and I was confused by this flashing of lights. I couldn’t quite figure it out in my peripheral vision. I looked in the drivers’ side mirror, and he was staring right at me, with a creepy Mustang-driver-pointy-mustache. Then I figured he must be indicating a lane change.

I wonder what kind of studies Ford did that would indicate that this kind of flashing indicator would be effective, safe, and useful in the flow of traffic. It doesn’t help that the three light panels are separated by white reverse lights, which interrupt the “sequential” flow. It looks like a disco dance floor. And how might one discern the difference between a fully charged turn indicator and the tap of the brakes?

This seems like classic wiz-bang marketing.

If engineers still designed cars, rather than marketers, a single, bright, orange indicator light works best. They should be mandated.”

Like a lot of newfangled devices and features in both motor vehicles and bicycles, this seems to serve as yet another example of complexity that makes the user feel better about themselves, but does little to enhance the functionality of the tool.

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One comment

  1. Chris

    Plus if you just happen to glance at it briefly and all three lights are lit, it looks like a brake light with no turn indicated. Any signaling device relying on a temporal sequence of events requires time and thought to process, and is inefficient and incomplete in real life. Like you said, a traditional indicator light just works.

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