The Senseless Ambiguity of North American Turn Signals

The Senseless Ambiguity of North American Turn Signals

Turn signals. They’re a good invention. Use them. Every motor vehicle legal for road use has
to have a certain number of exterior lights and indicators to be considered roadworthy. This is practically a worldwide truth, and
for good reason. Putting our fragile meat bags into metal boxes
capable of traveling speeds well in excess of what our bodies can naturally accomplish
is inherently dangerous. To help make this activity just a little bit
safer, governments world-over have mandated that these high-speed mechanical conveyance
devices be fitted with indicator lights to help inform the humans in control of other
dangerous driving machines just what sort of action the vehicles around them are currently
doing, or about to do. Hopefully, this helps avoid collisions. And it does! But there’s one continent in particular –North America– that allows tail lights that are proven to be a safety compromise, that would
seem bizarre to anyone living in Europe, and which frustrate me to no end. What is that compromise? Well, let’s take a look. Oh no, I’m gonna have to go outside for
this, aren’t I? Gah! Nature! This is a 2002 Honda Odyssey. It’s a minivan, the most exciting and desirable
class of vehicles available today. This vehicle is following European tail light
standards. Notice this red section of the tail light. This is the brake light, activated by the
brake light switch on the brake pedal, and whenever it’s lit, you know without a doubt
that the driver is slowing down (at least barring a mechanical issue or a driver riding
the brake). With the aid of the third brake light, there
are a total of three indicators to tell drivers following the Odyssey that it is slowing down. Now notice this amber section of the tail
light. Whenever it’s lit, you know that the driver
is signalling for a turn. There is no ambiguity between these two signals. Red always means stopping, and amber always
means turning. This is a 2013 Chevrolet Volt. You may have immediately noticed the compromise
here but let’s make it more clear. If I step on the brake pedal, three lights
illuminate just like in the Odyssey. But if I hit the turn signal, now one of the
brake lights has started flashing. There is no amber indicator of any kind on
the rear of this vehicle. In North America – that’s right, Canada,
too – the motor vehicle standards allow for red turn signals on the rear. But even worse, they allow for one indicator
to share the function of both a brake light and a turn signal. To manufacturers who are continuing to use
this lighting setup, I have two words: Stop it! Now if it’s somehow not obvious that this
is a safety compromise, let’s go over the reasons why. Recall a statement I made 11 sentences ago. “There is no ambiguity between these two
signals. Red always means stopping, and amber always
means turning.” Well, there most certainly IS signal ambiguity
when it comes to this vehicle. For other drivers, the only way to discern
the meaning of the signal is its behavior. A solid light indicates braking, and a flashing
light indicates turning. Fair enough, but this creates far too many
unclear and thus potentially dangerous situations. Say you’re following a vehicle with a broken
tail light. If it were the Volt, then every time the brake
pedal is depressed, only one side would illuminate. To an American driver, this would appear as
a turn signal until the point in which they have registered that it isn’t flashing. In essence, its function is delayed for however
long it takes the person behind you to realize that the left tail light is out. Granted, the third brake light, mandated for
passenger vehicles in 1986, helps by only illuminating with the brake pedal, but then
you have to rely on the driving knowing that. At a glance, this looks like a driver signaling
for a right turn, which is not an ideal assumption to make. They might be slamming on the brake. Also, if you’re on an angle and can only
see one of the tail lights, again you can’t get a clear picture of what’s going on. If you’re looking from this angle and the
driver has their left turn signal on, then you couldn’t see that they are stopping. This might be an uncommon problem, but imagine
you’re following this car through a left turn and you can’t see the other tail light. With the left one flashing, it’s up to you
to see that the third brake light is lit. See the problem? Of course if you have a brake light go out,
now you’ve also lost a turn signal! Say on this car that the left tail light went
out. Then, every time I step on the brake, it will
briefly look as though I’ve engaged my right turn signal, since this light hasn’t lit
up. And even worse, if I am using the right turn
signal, now this light can’t function as a brake light, and the only thing that will
indicate that I’m slowing down is the third brake light. So with this light out, and that light flashing
the only indicator that you’re slowing down or stopping is the Center High-Mounted Stop
Light (CHMSL). That’s pretty dumb! Now for the Europeans out there, you might
ask what this vehicle looks like with its hazards on. Let me show you! They look like this. Now neither one of these lights can function
as a brake light! If I were driving around with my hazards on,
the only indicator that I’m slowing down is the third brake light. I think it’s for this reason that in Illinois,
and other states I’m sure, you cannot drive with your hazards on; it’s considered illegal. And this is a shame because there are plenty
of reasons where you would want to do that, such as letting other drivers know that you’re
on a spare tire and warning them that you’re driving slowly. But with this car, with the hazards on, TWO
THIRDS of its brake lights are no longer functional as brake lights. In the Odyssey, the hazards can be on and
the brake lights work completely normally. But this car? Ugh, I can’t stand this design! Now there are plenty of vehicles here in the
States that use red turn signals, but use separate indicators. In fact on this Odyssey, from 1999 until 2001,
the turn signals were a slightly lighter shade of red. That’s better, but there’s still ambiguity. For a vehicle in Europe, red light ALWAYS
means braking. If you ever see red, you know you should slow
down. But here in North America, that’s right
Canada too, red could just mean turning. So long as this is allowed, we will always
have to deal with signal ambiguity here in North America. While I’m up on my high horse, let me say
to you, car manufacturers in America, could you please just stop? Why do you continue to use this flawed design? Are you so concerned with saving a few dollars
per car? Multiple studies have shown that there is
a clear safety advantage to using amber turn signals. Even without a study it should seem obvious– distinguishing function by color will always be faster than by whether it’s flashing or not. My speculative answer as to why this continues
to be a thing in North America is that car designers like the cleaner look of red-only
tail lights, and the general public just doesn’t care enough. That second part seems clear. When the new Chevrolet Cruze hatchback was
released, GM decided to put in amber turn signals. SaabKyle04’s review of this car mentioned
this, but only as an aside in courtesy of those who might prefer it. It’s not preference, people, it’s safety. It truly baffles me how little people care
about this. And other times, the design seems to be there,
but the function is killed. I was thrilled when I saw the design of the
tail lights on both the Chevy Cruze sedan and the Equinox. Two white inserts, one of these is probably
an amber turn signal! I thought, good going GM, you fixed yourself. Nope! That one is a reverse light, and that one
does nothing. Although, I would bet that if either of these
cars is to be sold in Europe, you would indeed find an amber bulb behind that white lens
there. Even weirder, this problem isn’t limited
to American automakers. Sure, your GM, Ford, and Chrysler products
are most likely to use this turn-signal brake-light two-for-one combo, but a surprising number
of Volkswagen and Audi models do it, too. They couldn’t get away with it in Europe,
but in the US they do. That’s why I think it’s a designer preference. Plenty of “foreign” automakers — ♪ lively music ♪ Plenty of “foreign” automakers also use red turn signals on their cars for
sale in the US market. It’s less common to see the shared turn
signal and brake light, but it is surprisingly common in German makes. Oh, and even the Tesla Model S uses this obnoxious
turn signal brake light combo for models sold domestically. Yes, I know that’s American but, eh… [sigh of frustration because this part of the script hadn’t been completely thought out] Now I get it, how often is this really an
issue? We seem to be doing OK with cars like this. And a good, defensive driver will probably
still treat a red light of any sort as cause to start slowing down–or at least cover the
brake. But I’d love to see an entity like the Insurance
Institute for Highway Safety starting to take this into account for their safety scores. I would imagine the IIHS has data on rear-end
collisions per vehicle model, and I’d be curious to see if there’s a clear difference
between red-only cars and red-plus-amber. But the point remains–in Europe at large,
a red light on the back of a vehicle will always mean braking, and an amber light will
always mean turning or a hazard condition. See red? Must be braking. See amber? Must be turning. But in the US, see red? Who knows!? You’ll have to stare at it for a moment
to be sure. And while I’m griping–I know I’m such
a downer–this 16 year old minivan has a feature that ought to be standard in every car sold
today. Here’s the instrument cluster. Pretty basic by today’s standards, but it
gets the job done. Now I’ve pulled one of the brake lights out
so it isn’t working. Watch what happens as soon as I step on the
brake– a red light appears. What does it say? BRAKE LAMP. This 16 year old car is monitoring the current
going through the brake light circuit, and when it gets too low, it illuminates a warning
light on the dash. Why is this not just a universal thing? Another thing, can we make automatic headlights
standard? This vehicle has a light sensor on the dashboard
and when it gets dark outside the headlights come on by themselves. Even better, they’ll also come on if you
turn on the windshield wipers during the day. I’ve seen more and more people lately driving
around at night without their headlights on, and I think that’s because so many new cars
have backlit screens for gauges, so the instrument cluster is always lit. In an older car like the Odyssey, it’s obvious
that your headlights aren’t on because at night you can’t see the gauges, but that’s
largely not the case anymore. It’s apparently a little too easy to not
notice that you haven’t turned on your headlights. And also, too many people see the light from
their daytime running lights and assume that their headlights are already on, not realizing
that their tail lights aren’t lit for nighttime driving. So please, let’s get automatic headlights
in more cars, OK? They’re almost all computer controlled via
a relay anyway, so could you just stick an ambient light sensor on the dash and call
it a day, thanks. Now as you may know if you follow this channel,
in my family there are now both a Chevy Volt and a Chevy Bolt EV. And in the case of the Bolt, it has separate
amber turn signals! How amazing! Now, I suspect the reason it does is that
GM is marketing this car in Europe, and rather than create two separate tail light designs,
they use the same European-compliant version for both markets. I think this probably also explains the Chevy
Cruze hatchback’s use of amber turn signals. But this car demonstrates a humorous dedication
to design in spite of regulations. See in the US, tail lights, turn signals,
and headlights cannot be on any part of the vehicle that moves. So they can’t be on the hood or bonnet,
the doors or the boot/trunk/hatch lid/whatever. On this car, they are on the hatch. To get around this, GM has installed a second
set of redundant brake lights in the bumper which the vehicle will switch to as soon as
the hatch is opened. Take a look. What this says to me is that the whole “one
lamp for both the turn signal and the brake light” isn’t so much of a cost-saving
measure. It’s just a design that people like and
can get away with. And I don’t think they should. Incidentally, I saw an Audi crossover on the
road with tail lights like the Bolt, and one of the LED modules had failed. The computer had apparently detected this,
so for this car, the left-hand bumper brake light
was illuminating in its stead. It was rather an odd sight, but there was
a working brake light on both sides. That’s a very clever and thoughtful use
of redundancy there, Audi. Good job. But the fact that the LED failed is a little,
um, worrisome. Anyway, that’s enough hammering on about
automotive design for now. I admit–I like to look at the designs of
tail lights and I think they are a huge part of the look to any vehicle. I always appreciate a cool-looking tail light,
and I can understand the temptation to keep the design clean by eliminating the amber
bulb. But please. Think of the children! Or at the very least, think of the various
scenarios we’ve discussed in which having a separate amber turn signal is clearly advantageous and creates a safer, less ambiguous driving environment. Thanks for watching, I hope you enjoyed this
video! This is a little different from most of my
videos, and I have Jared S –AKA Wookie Goldberg– on Twitter for the inspiration to make this. I was beginning to worry that I was the only
human who was remotely concerned about this stupid design, but it seems at least 12 others
agree! So that’s good news, I guess. Anyway, as always, thanks to everyone who
supports the channel on Patreon, especially the fine folks scrolling up the screen. This channel is made possible with the support
of people like you, and if you’d like to join these amazing people and support the
channel too, why not take a look at my Patreon page? Thanks for your consideration, and I’ll
see you next time! Gah! Nature! That actually pricked me. Great going!


  • Paul Hayden says:

    During the second half of the 60's, one model car (can't remember) had many brake lights. As the brake pedal was pushed the outer lights would light and as pedal was pushed more, more brake lights would light till lights a cross the back was let. This showed heavy braking.

    I have wondered, why all cars don't have brake lights like that…

  • Paul Hayden says:

    I also have issues with turn signals being placed in different locations. In heavy traffic it can be hard trying to notice a small turn light placed far from the brake light…

  • BowToWard86 says:

    Uhhhh….this has never been an issue for me.

  • Oby-1 says:

    Usually most people use their signals when 1/2 way into the turn. So, it doesn't matter.

  • Juan Alvarez says:


  • Malban VO says:

    I'm so grateful for this video for such a weird reason. Today I noticed my dashboard wasn't lighting up fully, but I couldn't figure out why. It looked like it was in its dimmer nighttime mode. Then you told me the light sensor is on top of your van's dash, and surely enough, it was right under where I put my new front license plate while I was waiting to replace them. What a perfect video for YouTube to recommend to me today. Thank you!

  • Er Br says:

    I guess im a stupid American but I dont see the problem. If youre turning youre slowing down anyway so having the lights separate doesnt really make a difference. The other points you bring up are entirely hypothetical like following a car into a left turn at an angle, that's usually illegal in an intersection, having a separate lane for turning.

  • LoneWolf5841 says:

    As an American I can agree with this

  • A AL says:

    I agree 100%. I am European and I love many American cars, but I have always found this crazy and dangerous.

  • David Kurtz says:

    4:10 I find this interesting because on some vehicle models (including my own Chevy Cobalt) the turn signal and brake share a housing but are separate entities and if my turn signal goes my brake light still illuminates, still no Amber though.

  • blueeyedbaer says:

    I have a new Mercedes Benz. Not advised to not use turn signals. The car monitors lane lines all the time. If it detects that you're approaching the line without showing the turn signal, you get quite a sharp and strong vibration on the steering wheel. If you ignore it and continue, the car just performs the emergency break to prevent a collision because the car computer thinks it's something wrong with you (which it is if you're not using turn signals) and the car is uncontrolled.

  • Bradley Killen says:

    Brilliant. Consistently brilliant.

  • JackalopeTX says:

    Yes our outdated regulations are stupid. But what's also stupid is that the law does allow amber turn signals, but manufacturers simply choose not to implement them. As for the Euro cars (like my Golf Alltrack MK7) the amber turn signal isn't used in the US because there is a minimum area requirement and the amber lights are too small, so VW puts in a red filter and assigns those bulbs to braking

  • Gerardo Amador says:

    I'm from Mexico. We do share this standard and like I've said from always: THESE RED TURN SIGNAL LIGHTS ARE STUPID. PUT AMBER LIGHTS!!!!!

  • George Todd says:

    I honestly don’t know why headlights aren’t set to a GPS clock or just on all the time…

  • Kolin Martz says:

    Tbh. Idc. It doesn’t take a genius to know why they are indicating. You shouldn’t be too close to the person in front of you anyways for the “ambiguity” to matter. everyone always brakes before they turn anyways so you should already know what’s happening. You already slow down when someone is signaling to turn and you’re following them.

  • Taro Unterburger says:

    My 38 year old Volvo 240 has a bulb failure warning light as well. Super handy, especially given the severely outdated safety everywhere else! The relay to activate it is very strange, too.

  • Tony Burzio says:

    Government Mandate: Another stupid idea that doesn't work.

  • Cheaper by the thousand says:

    It's a safety compromise but it looks better so it's fine

  • Edward Bratton says:

    Another limitation is brake and turn lights cant be mounted to the trunk or part that moves.

  • Wj11jam says:

    So I guess you could say the orange turn signal makes driving less… AMBERguous?

  • ElixTwo says:

    why the fuck am i watching this?!?!? lol

  • Maxi Mal says:

    good im european

  • Maxi Mal says:

    "distdinquishing it by color" my dad is colorblind

  • H N says:

    It won't matter when cars drive themselves.

  • ShapeShifter 984 says:

    Here in the great US of A we disregard safety for good looks. Amber is ugly af.

  • nsx deluxe says:

    In Mexico we use the two light setup, amber for turning / hazard, red for stop, just FYI

  • Mista Gunther says:

    I'd like to add GM has the reverse lights come on automatically and stay on for a while, after exiting the vehicle. This really sucks in a parking lot!!!!!

  • Fernando Santos says:

    Also, newer tail lights don't go all the way to the sides. If you are seeing the car perpendicularly you have no clue whatsoever.

  • Ben Rosenberg says:

    All of this is pointless since nobody even uses their friggen turn signals like a bunch of uncivilized mongaloids

  • Matthew Austin says:

    From wikipedia
    A 2008 US study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests vehicles with amber rear signals rather than red ones are up to 28% less likely to be involved in certain kinds of collisions,[70]and a 2009 NHTSA study determined there is a significant overall safety benefit to amber rather than red rear turn signals.[71]
    There is some evidence that turn signals with colourless clear lenses and amber bulbs may be less conspicuous in bright sunlight than those with amber lenses and colourless bulbs. So yes it makes a difference.

  • Lawrence says:

    Here in UK there's been an increasing trend in the use of the dazzling bright white headlights. Do you also suffer with this problem in the US?

  • Don van Weverwijk says:

    Drink every time he says "it's lit" and don't drive 🔥

  • Anon2767 says:

    Automatic headlights? Can't you just have them always on like we do.

  • Somluck says:

    On a recent visit to Thailand (which has a rather laissez-faire attitude to any law or regulation), I noticed a rather upmarket BMW with modified rear light illumination. When the driver used the brakes, the white reversing lights flashed on followed by the red brake lights followed by the amber turn signal lights. White, red, amber, white red amber. Most amusing.

  • Michael Moore says:

    A little bit over 2 minutes into your video and I realize that it's not for me… Since I'm color-blind, the "red" and "amber" lights you're pointing out are the same color to me.

  • Parsa Esteky says:

    I can totally relate to this. There was a Chevy Tahoe that was on the right side of the road, and had the left indicator on, but because of the design flaw you mention in this video and a burnt bulb; we could not see that this guy was turning. They were going about 15MPH and so we thought they were pulling to the side of the street. We attempted passing the Tahoe, and the turned left! So we almost had an accident because of this design flaw thanks to American legislations.

  • Lo Zam says:

    9:38 Even my car from 2015 doesn't have that and it's a freaking Subaru, so much for the safety moniker.

  • Evan Brown says:

    he even sounded like doug for a second there

  • Brad Meyer says:

    All cars should have auto headlights with out an override to turn them off.

  • Brad Meyer says:

    I use to have an 2004 Honda Odyssey with the same taillights as the 2002 Odyssey and my 2015 Camry has red only tail/ brake lights and Amber turn signals.

  • Brad Meyer says:

    On GM cars when you lock your doors the head and tail lights and reverse lights come on so it looks like the person is leaving but they actually aren’t.

  • Pat Lund says:

    I don't think this is that big of a deal. If you see one light blinking it's a turn signal…

  • Daniel Barker says:

    Pretty simple. Lights come on… You slow down. Dont need colors or separate indicators. Just slow down when you see lights.

  • terence w says:

    i wonder how many people die every year due to causes directly linked to this problem

  • jeff says:

    Nice shirt. Hello from Maui

  • Lim MN says:

    Like the introduction

  • Red aka Minekloc says:

    I don't mind if a turn signal shares the light with a parking light, but I think the brake light should be separate from blink/parking light, like in GTA IV Albany Esperanto

  • Ryan Miller says:

    euro rear foglight. single rear facing red indicator on the ?drivers? side.

  • Docdegen says:

    Dynamic turning lights anyone?

  • airindiana says:

    . I’m from the UK and whenever I’ve seen the red ones in the US I’ve found it boggling as to why they allow them. Amber works so much better, shame most of our drivers in the U.K. don’t use them. Perhaps they’re saving them for special occasions.

  • Colm Browne says:

    This has bugged me for years, I thought I was the only one. Excellent video.

  • Jake says:

    I wish we had a passing signal. If only to devalue the only utility of tailgating, to get people to stop mindlessly engaging in such life threatening behaviours

    Even with perfectly functional hardware, the only way to differentiate between the two signals sent out by the back lights is to wait the amount of time the signal takes to flash, and half seconds are precious when zooming around at 40 mps

    My car dims the digital display screen when the headlights are on, to make it less glaring at night. This is a nice feature for that reason, but can make it unsafe for me to turn on my lights when I'm legally supposed to, but its not dark enough to functionally warrant them yet, as I lose the ability to see my dashboard when my lights are on and its light out, such as when its bright, but raining a bit. Personally I think lights are a bit fetishized. Bright lights don't make it easier to see the road, in fact they make it harder for drivers coming the other way to see the lines they're supposed to stay inside, by washing out the rest of your vision. I've noticed that people who don't have experience walking around at night in the dark always bring a flashlight, but many people who do have experience know that turning on a flashlight makes your night vision worse. I find road visibility to be at its absolute worst when surrounded by cars that all have their headlights on. Also, do automatic lights have any sort of protection against turning on your lights while passing another car? This startles an average human, and could cause problems on the road, and most human drivers already intuitively accommodate for that

  • Geiokami Hasuki says:

    GM put a price on your life and it was a measly 10 cents, stop putting your family in those death traps.

  • Michael Nugent says:

    1:11 I thought I accidentally skipped to a Doug DeMuro video LMAO

  • Michael Nugent says:

    My 2006 Pontiac G6 GTP has automatic headlights and can tell me if a turn signal is out. I don't see why more cars don't.

  • GGLOL17_RBLX says:

    I'm from Germany and u TOTALLY Right! The RED blinkers are very useless, and if 1/2 and 3rd. Brake light is broken, Then it's a Big problem, because who knows if u brake or blink.

  • MacRobb Simpson says:

    I actually had to look up the whole 3rd brake light… because while passenger vehicles(cars) mandated it in 1986, light trucks(pickups) didn't require it until 94.
    So, yes, there are quite a few vehicles running around(like all of my trucks) that not only don't have the 3rd brake light, but only have the two red combined turn/tail lights!

  • Jackson Sandstrum says:


  • Vanilla Neko says:

    Pro tip, if the car in front of you is getting closer, they are slowing down/stopped

    If you don't have time to figure this out you were following too closely

  • Pratyush Dhage says:

    Ha ha …. as an Indian… all cars have orange turn signals.

  • IstvanN1961 says:

    I have been driving for 44 years and have never had a problem with red turn-signals. There is NO ambiguity whatsoever. If lights are broken, regardless of color, the lights don't work. It is not a problem. Good grief just keep your lights working and all is OK. Is there anyone left who doesn't put down what we do.

  • Тайбирияс Чайковский says:

    I HATE American cars and American women!

  • Preston Thugman says:

    I thought I was the only one who doesn’t like the total red lites.

  • DiyMan says:

    Good old common sense.. hmmmm Just found your channel. Subscribed.. :o)

  • Stijn Otter says:

    I gotta say that when we were driving yesterday we would have probably died if a our driver confused braking lights with a turning ligt, luckily I live in Europe so it was amber vs red. (We where going 235kmh on the German autobahn and you slow down when you get close to cars and pull up when a car switches to the right to let you pas) Lets say we slowed down to 170 and the driver before us needed to stop for any reason but we thought he was letting us pas. Then we would have slammed with around 185kmh into a car driving 145.

  • Derek Wall says:

    Apparently this guy is the brother of Doug de muro

  • KK Foto says:

    It seems that the red brake/turn light combo is only used in the US and Canada. All other countries in the Americas and elsewhere use red brake lights + amber turn signals, no combo allowed.
    Another dangerous feature is those tiny turn signals far from the corner of the vehicle, so you can't see them from an angle.

  • Eric Does Stuff says:

    I'd like to point this out as being a motor enthusiast. It seems nowadays car manufacturers have listened to this, and are starting to return to having amber turn signals in the rear. Most new models I see have amber turn signals, minus most truck models.

  • NiiOnLood says:

    Many newer cars in Europe have daylight running lights, these are often LEDs. Thing is, it is not mandatory that the rear side lights have to be lit when DLRs are lit during daytime. Many cars here lacks a system which turns on headlights and sidelights automatically when it's getting darker outside. Therefore we have lot of cars that drive around during twilight with only front DLRs lit up and not a single light running at rear. Completely dark. This is stupid.

  • Nerd says:

    It's really not confusing at all when you have grown up with it. 🙂

  • Add E says:

    Yes, no one cares about this but you. The fact that you are stating there is a tangible safety benefit with no evidence to back it up is dumb. Furthermore, the Chevy Bolt you showed has the dumbest turn signal configuration I've ever seen. They aren't even remotely close to where people will look for them and therefore useless.

  • Chris Jones says:

    Instead of light sensors for the headlights ( they CAN be fooled) How about making the turn on automatically when the engine starts!! No ifs…ands…or butts!! Just ON….no matter WHAT…and auto OFF when you shut the engine off….naturally….

  • Zap Fox says:

    I can't buy a vehicle without amber turning lights, I can't stand this change too. That's why I like older models.

  • Guitardude 360 says:

    “Turn signals, they are a good invention, use them” Not even 5 seconds into the video and I know this is going to be good.

  • John A Doe says:

    it's not so much much a "cost saving measure" but more of a "profit making measure" because vehicle manufacturers in order to be able to sell their product in a market will always make the vehicle compliant with local regulations. having the redundant break lights is a way to get around the regulations, so that you can open the boot with the main set of lights attached.
    So what is really needed is the regulations changing to require dedicated amber turn signals.
    one thing North America tends to be lacking in is…. Standards.

  • Wes Buckley says:

    Follow up video idea
    4 pin trailer wiring.
    Turns amber turn signal into flashing brake light. Most trailers (even with 7 pin wiring) do not allow for a "stop" circuit, even though electric trailer brakes are triggered by "brake" circuit (variable output from electric brake controller in vehicle).

  • gojo modu says:

    It makes it far more simple to wire up a flat four trailer harness. When they are seperate you need a converter to go to flat four trailer standard. Those converters are highly unreliable also.

  • Honda CRV says:


  • Rena Kunisaki says:

    That minivan with the redundant lights really bothers me. They actually wired each individual light to the computer, added a hatch-open detection switch to swap lights, and added light failure detection to fall back… instead of just having both sets come on!? That would be so much simpler, with fewer points of failure, more lights for the other drivers to see, redundancy in case the light is covered in dirt but still working, and no possible confusion.

  • Hi Hi says:

    But amber is Communist.

  • Matthew Schlessman says:

    "Artists impression"
    black screen

  • Gorsken says:

    There's a good reason why many American car brands have lost so much of the market to Asian and European car brands. This is just a small one.

  • RosalinaSama says:

    i never knew about this for years until a few days ago i nearly had an accident with an imported ford mustang and im absolutely baffled that this is a real thing

  • SuperZX says:

    I prefer the red turning signals. The design looks clean and sophisticated versus the Amber turn signals.

  • Mel Smith says:

    Great video. Having just returned from California I was surprised to note that so many European brand cars, like Audi, Mercedes, etc, have their brake lights altered for the American market, ie they do away with a separate amber indicator we have here and instead flash one of the brake lights. In my view this looks cheap and is, I would have thought and as you discuss, considerably less safe.
    Most things in the US I find impressive and well thought through (ordering meals and drinks in a bar for example – here in the UK we have to clamber for bar staff attention to spend our money at the bar), however a few things, like the flashing brake light issue (which we stopped doing in the UK back in the 1950s) and the appalling design of electrical power points, seem almost bizarrely poor.

    It might also be better to consider not using 110v but 230v instead as it means thicker wiring (and so more copper) is needed at 110v for the same power rating (the hair dryer in my hotel room had a ridiculously thick cable compared to the one I have at home in the UK, which even has a higher rating) and may even be safer from the electrocution standpoint (at 110 v it could be more likely that the subject will tend to remain in contact with the source).

  • Skylord_Robert says:

    Okay I seriously thought you were going to do a Doug demuro reference when introducing the Odyssey for a second. but then again it probably makes sense considering that I jumped from a Doug demuro review right into this video.

  • Robert Connor says:

    You should do a video about the cargo shorts.

  • pruppjesus says:

    Here in sweden it's the law to have the lights on 24 hours a day. Might sound strange but it's easier to se if the car is moving or not. Studies have said that it has helped.

  • Michael Demarco says:

    Thinking of getting a American car imported so im gonna have to convert the blinkers to make UK standards

  • Chad Freeman says:

    1:04 full Doug DeMuro transition.

  • Aidan Standing says:

    4:53 great, just combine that with the red funnel ferries, say, a disabled person was in the vehicle, and…
    yeah, not a good situation, only the 3rd brake light can function as a brake light
    (for those wondering, the hazard lights are used to alert ferry staff that that vehicle needs to be near the lift (or elevator for anyone who doesn't live in NZ or the UK))
    thankfully where the red funnel ferries are all vehicles follow European standards

  • Bryan Liguori says:

    Come on. If you're ever confused by these, you shouldn't have a license.

  • Nicolas Stabilini says:

    Yes… red turn signal, inches and pounds… you american people are so strange.

  • DARTrider says:

    wow i hate the american turnsignal and my dad has a bolt

  • archona54 says:

    I'm going to disagree that the 'compromise is a problem. The only problem is people not signalling at all. if the other brake light is solid the car is braking..and turning.

    This is NOT a problem. It only is to you.

  • Alif Rachman says:

    Meanwhile some drivers in my country change their blinkers to white LEDs… and its very hard to see on cars with clear blinker light cover in daylight

  • Jens Schröder says:

    In Europa cars has always amber turn ligth. Only imported single car form the US have sometimes red turn ligths. That is confusing.

  • Paul Campbell says:

    The trouble with automatic headlights is they come on when you pass through a shadow or under a bridge.

  • Wolfgang 847 says:

    You don't know how many people I have seen that don't use turn signals.p

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