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    Thread: Flash-to-pass: No one does this in America??

    1. 12-17-2007 01:42 PM #1
      I was reading this Consumer Report's blog report on the '08 CTS by one of their testers - Gabe Shenhar who's a Mechanical Engineer and a former BMW driving instructor.

      Quote »
      When pulling the turn-signal stalk toward you, there is no flash-to-pass if the headlights are off as they would be during the daytime. This is a feature so basic and universal, it never dawned on me GM would omit it.

      The new CTS' optional HID (High Intensity Discharge) headlights use bi-xenon bulbs for low and high beams. Apparently, GM was concerned about bulb longevity, or wanted to save some money by omitting a dedicated lamp solely used for flashing. Subsequently, we discovered that our Buick Enclave lacks flash-to-pass as well.

      Flash-to-pass (a.k.a "optical horn") is used to communicate with other drivers for warnings or courtesy. It often means "Please let me pass, I'm going faster than you." Other times it means "Go ahead, I'll wait." In the extreme, less communication between drivers can have an adverse safety consequence. It is particularly odd that the CTS lacks this feature. After all, the car is intended to be sold in Europe--and, in particular, Germany--where stalk flashing on the autobahn is the second most used feature after the gas pedal. How hadn't anyone discovered this on the way to and from the Nurburgring track, where the CTS was developed?

      And after looking at the comments following the article -

      http://blogs.consumerreports.o...ments

      Apparently, no one in America uses their headlights to flash people to pass or for warnings or courtesy.

      Is this your experience? I use my headlights all the time to signal other drivers - either for passing on the left lane on the highway or to tell people or cars to change lanes, or move.


    2. 12-17-2007 01:44 PM #2
      Quote, originally posted by rosskoss »

      Is this your experience? I use my headlights all the time to signal other drivers - either for passing on the left lane on the highway or to tell people or cars to change lanes, or move.

      Most people mistakenly view flashing headlights as agressive driving.


    3. Member GTIolot's Avatar
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      12-17-2007 01:45 PM #3
      Ppl dont tend to use their lights the same here... From mony cross country trips with the family, ive picked up on flashing truckers to let em know its safe to get over.. Thats about it
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    4. 12-17-2007 01:45 PM #4
      I flash to pass all the time.

      (hmm, why does that suddenly sound dirty?)

      Of course no one is looking in their mirrors to notice, unless they are doing their makeup while driving.

      PC


    5. 12-17-2007 01:46 PM #5
      wow thats messed up

    6. 12-17-2007 01:47 PM #6
      This has been a peave of mine for many years. It's very useful, but american manufacturers usually ignore it.

      Many who have the ability, abuse it as a road rage weapon.


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      12-17-2007 01:48 PM #7
      I've always used flash to pass

    8. Member ZoomBoy's Avatar
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      12-17-2007 01:49 PM #8
      Quote, originally posted by PhaetonChix »
      I flash to pass all the time.

      (hmm, why does that suddenly sound dirty?)

      Of course no one is looking in their mirrors to notice, unless they are doing their makeup while driving.

      PC

      Yes this is what bugs me in Canada. During the day people will NEVER notice the flashing so I can pass them. They'll take part in a 100 km/h rolling road block in all lanes because they are selfish.

      At night, some people get it.. others are just stubborn and believe in the "me or nothing" mantra. It really bugs me here about this.


    9. 12-17-2007 01:49 PM #9
      Quote, originally posted by PhaetonChix »

      Of course no one is looking in their mirrors to notice, unless they are doing their makeup while driving.

      Exactly, it's mind boggling how so many people have no awareness about their surrounding cars while driving.

      There are people who choose to go 60mph in the left lane when the speed limit is 70mph. Even when you're behind them attempting to pass, they have no clue you're there. Flashing is your last resort and often times, even that doesn't work!


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      12-17-2007 01:51 PM #10
      This seems to be a serious ommission from GM. This is much larger than a flash to pass issue. Its often used at intersections when people are being curtious, to warn opposing traffic of a road hazard in their direction of travel (or cops waiting at a speed trap )

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      12-17-2007 01:53 PM #11
      I flash my headlights for the following:

      -to tell someone to "go ahead" (i.e., at a 4-way stop sign)

      -to let someone know they can merge into my lane

      -to let truckers know they've cleared my front bumper and can come into my lane if they need to

      -if I'm about to pass someone on a 2-lane country road

      -to warn oncoming traffic about the speed trap I just passed


      At night, rather than using the high beams, I'll turn my fog lights off-on-off-on for the same effect. I feel that seeing a second set of lights going off and on is more noticable than watching my headlights go bright-dim-bright-dim.

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    12. 12-17-2007 01:54 PM #12
      I had a friend from Germany staying here for about three months. Keeping in mind that I've spent a lot of time overseas, I did notice that he was flashing to pass frequently.

      I had to tell him that flashing your high beams means very different things here in the US...it's either associated with very ****** driving or it means a big "F-you".

      He was confused...until I also told him that in the US, since people pass on the left AND right, you don't really ever need to signal other drivers to move over.

      Not surprisingly, he was blown away and really thought it felt roads felt like the wild west...


    13. Member LaFerrari's Avatar
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      12-17-2007 01:55 PM #13
      Quote, originally posted by achilles381 »

      Most people mistakenly view flashing headlights as agressive driving.

      Exactly. I honestly see very little reason to flash your lights at someone unless it's to avoid an accident.

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      12-17-2007 01:56 PM #14
      I use flash to pass all the time as well, 80% of the people get it, 10% get it after 2 or 3 flashes. The last 10% need to be reported for not being aware of their surroundings.

      I use the singel long flash to tell drivers to go ahead. Though there are some people who don't know what it means and just sit there

      This needs more backing in driving schools.

      BTW what does it mean when truckers pass another and turn their back lights off and on


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      12-17-2007 01:57 PM #15
      Quote, originally posted by rosskoss »
      I was reading this Consumer Report's blog report on the '08 CTS by one of their testers - Gabe Shenhar who's a Mechanical Engineer and a former BMW driving instructor.
      there we go
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    16. 12-17-2007 01:57 PM #16
      I flash for pretty much the same. Mostly for the truckers on highways or to get someones attention. I dont use it for the "get out of the way" deal. And if someone flashes me but they are right on my bumper i aint moving.


      Modified by Dub Dice at 11:02 AM 12-17-2007

    17. Member DenCo's Avatar
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      12-17-2007 02:00 PM #17
      Flash to pass doesn't to be listed as a feature on ANY vehicle, regardless of brand, equipped with HID headlights at this point.

      Oh and ANY GM vehicle without HIDs DOES have flash to pass...


      Modified by DenCo at 3:01 PM 12-17-2007

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    18. 12-17-2007 02:00 PM #18
      Its illegal to flash your lights in PA

      I was under the impression it was illegal (or at least frowned on) in the rest of the country. And I thought that it was uncommon even in european counrties.

      I always thought of it as a d!ck guesture, rather than a polite reminder of a fast approaching car from behind.


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      12-17-2007 02:00 PM #19
      In some places a more polite and less aggressive form of "get out of the passing lane" is to drive with the left blinker on while behind the slowpoke, and resort to flash-to-pass only if the slowpoke doesn't get the message. Which in North America, will mean "most of the time".

    20. 12-17-2007 02:01 PM #20
      Quote, originally posted by edkim »
      I
      He was confused...until I also told him that in the US, since people pass on the left AND right, you don't really ever need to signal other drivers to move over.

      I don't think you're supposed to pass on the right. I never do unless I'm left with no choice.


    21. 12-17-2007 02:03 PM #21
      Quote, originally posted by rosskoss »

      I don't think you're supposed to pass on the right. I never do unless I'm left with no choice.

      oops... I never pass on the right either...


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      12-17-2007 02:04 PM #22
      Quote, originally posted by Golfotron »

      BTW what does it mean when truckers pass another and turn their back lights off and on

      The taillight-flash is the end of a sort of "conversation" between truckers on the highway.

      Say two trucks are climbing a hill. Truck A is in the left lane, going slightly faster than Truck B in the right lane. When Truck A has passed Truck B, B will flash his headlights at A, as a way of saying "you can come into my lane now." A will then signal and move over in front of B. After A has moved in front of B, A will flash his taillights a few times to say "thanks".

      I do this a lot with truckers, as we seem to be the only ones doing the speed limit on the highways I travel

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      12-17-2007 02:05 PM #23
      Flash to pass wouldn't work here. Drivers are too busy talking on the cell phone and watching TV in the car to pay attention to flashing lights, let alone the road.
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      12-17-2007 02:05 PM #24
      Quote, originally posted by Dan somebody »

      I hear ya', Gabe. I was totally in love with the CTS, but then I realized that the volume control only went up to 10 instead of 11. Man that car sucks.

      ...Really, do you expect this to be taken seriously? It's hard to tell whether you're being tongue-in-cheek here...


      that made me chuckle a bit....


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      12-17-2007 02:05 PM #25
      I've always used a flash to indicate "go ahead." I have used it to try to get the attention of left-lane dawdlers, but it rarely works. I've never had it taken the wrong way, though. People either know what it means or ignore it.
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    26. 12-17-2007 02:05 PM #26
      Quote, originally posted by Wellington P Funk »

      The taillight-flash is the end of a sort of "conversation" between truckers on the highway.

      Say two trucks are climbing a hill. Truck A is in the left lane, going slightly faster than Truck B in the right lane. When Truck A has passed Truck B, B will flash his headlights at A, as a way of saying "you can come into my lane now." A will then signal and move over in front of B. After A has moved in front of B, A will flash his taillights a few times to say "thanks".

      I do this a lot with truckers, as we seem to be the only ones doing the speed limit on the highways I travel

      If a trucker wants over in my lane, im giving up my space to them. I respect their space. Cause I cant stop him if he REALLY wants over


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      12-17-2007 02:08 PM #27
      Quote, originally posted by cec0303 »
      Its illegal to flash your lights in PA

      I would like to see more information on that. It can't possibly be illegal to flash your lights under all circumstances.

      I drive with my regular beams on all the time, so I flash the high beams to signal someone that they can merge or pull out in front of me. I don't flash to pass because I think most people see it as an aggressive gesture and are more likely to slow down and try to annoy you rather than get out of the way.

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    28. 12-17-2007 02:08 PM #28
      Flash-to-pass is not customary in America. I've driven a lot in Mexico and it's customary on their highways - I have to constantly remind myself to flash when I pass. edkim has it right, it's necessary only in instances where passing is only done on the left.


      Modified by serrano at 11:11 AM 12-17-2007

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      12-17-2007 02:09 PM #29
      Quote, originally posted by achilles381 »

      Most people mistakenly view flashing headlights as agressive driving.

      because they are not paying attention and are stupid...

      leaving your high beams on is aggressive.

      -Invisible-

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      12-17-2007 02:10 PM #30
      Man, whenever I flick the headlights on at someone to get them to move over, they usually just stay in the lane, and maybe flip me off. And that's after I spent all that time installing the flash-to-pass diode, too :weeps:

      What's needed, I suspect, is some kind of "machinegun-to-pass" device.

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      12-17-2007 02:10 PM #31
      I try to use flash-to-pass (it's legal in CA), but far more often than not the slower car ahead of me either ignores it or doesn't know what it means.

      Passing on the right is now necessary due to the uninformed masses.

      :gift:

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      12-17-2007 02:11 PM #32
      In some places, flashing your lights means "kill me". I still do it anyway, but I don't have a fancy flash-to-pass feature, I just pull that stalk like they did back in the day. It seems silly to me to have a feature that does the flashing for me, when it's so damn easy to yank that high beam lever a couple times. I'm sure those CTS bi-xenon's can handle flipping between high and low beams a few extra times. It sounds like Consumer Reports is making a big deal out of nothing in their usual anti-American manner.

      Quote, originally posted by rosskoss »
      I don't think you're supposed to pass on the right. I never do unless I'm left with no choice.

      On a two-lane you're not supposed to pass on the right, but on the multi-lane superslab, it doesn't make a bit of difference unless a cop wants to screw with you. I've passed countless numbers of cops on the right on multi-lane highways....I swear sometimes they'll park in the fastlane at 60 mph just to screw with people.

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      12-17-2007 02:11 PM #33
      Quote, originally posted by cec0303 »
      Its illegal to flash your lights in PA

      I was under the impression it was illegal (or at least frowned on) in the rest of the country. And I thought that it was uncommon even in european counrties.

      I always thought of it as a d!ck guesture, rather than a polite reminder of a fast approaching car from behind.

      wrong

      -Invisible-

    34. 12-17-2007 02:11 PM #34
      It is illegal to flash your highbeams at someone within 200-100ft depending on your local ordinances.

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      12-17-2007 02:12 PM #35
      Quote, originally posted by Wellington P Funk »

      The taillight-flash is the end of a sort of "conversation" between truckers on the highway.

      Say two trucks are climbing a hill. Truck A is in the left lane, going slightly faster than Truck B in the right lane. When Truck A has passed Truck B, B will flash his headlights at A, as a way of saying "you can come into my lane now." A will then signal and move over in front of B. After A has moved in front of B, A will flash his taillights a few times to say "thanks".

      I do this a lot with truckers, as we seem to be the only ones doing the speed limit on the highways I travel


      in europe we also use the highbeams for the "come back in" gesture.
      but the "thanks"is different. after the flashing of the right blinker untill back in the lane we give 1left blink and another right blink as a thank you
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