Front brake light

About front
brake light

Improving road safety by improving road traffic communication

Road transport is an everyday part of almost every member of society.

That is why road safety is a pervasive problem, whose importance grows hand in hand with the increasing density of traffic on the roads. According to the "Get off Gas" road safety study, one road accident victim affects up to 113 other people on average. These are family members, friends, acquaintances or emergency service workers, police.

With around 25 thousand people dying on the roads in the European Union (EU) every year, around 135 thousand more seriously injured, and medical, rehabilitation and work loss costs of around €120 billion per year, the EU has set a target - alongside the Ten Years of Road Safety declaration - to halve the number of deaths and serious injuries on the roads by 2030. Achieving this target will require seizing every opportunity to improve road safety.

Given the three-way link between man, vehicle and environmental factors, progress in road safety must always include a multitude of innovations.

One of these could be the FRONT BRAKE LIGHT, a light device mounted and positioned at the front of the vehicle that illuminates simultaneously with the rear brake lights and informs oncoming road users that the vehicle is braking.

Scientific approach

As early as 1971, the first study on the usefulness of a front brake light was carried out on several vehicles in the USA.

The study participants, as well as the control group, found the front brake light, after testing, to be useful in communicating with other drivers and pedestrians - especially in low light conditions - and also in carrying out their behavioural intentions while driving.

To examine these results in more detail, a laboratory study was conducted in 2016 that also highlighted the information disparity between motor vehicle drivers and pedestrians.

While drivers can rely on pedestrians' direction of movement and body language to understand their intentions, pedestrians themselves - especially when encountering oncoming traffic - have very little information about drivers' future actions and behaviors.

Without a special signal at the front of the vehicle (e.g. a front brake light), it is significantly more difficult for pedestrians to perceive whether the vehicle is braking. This problem is particularly serious when using pedestrian crossings or when crossing a side road in front of a turning vehicle. These are situations in which collisions commonly occur.

On this basis, a more extensive field test was carried out in 2017 at Berlin-Tegel Airport, evaluated by means of questionnaires, in which drivers of vehicles equipped with a front brake light were confronted with them, as well as other road users who encountered these vehicles in traffic. The results again showed widespread support and acceptance of the concept.

Open-ended comments: examples of comments expressing support and appreciation of the concept (the number of respondents is given in brackets)
CategoryComments (examples)
Anticipation and reaction (13)“You can see quicker that the vehicle is braking”
“You can respond more quickly to the braking of other road users.”
General positive comments (10)“That was very good.“
“Good idea.“
Visibility (10)“Good. I expect it to be even more positive in winter.”
“The version currently used on vehicles does not dazzle, but is very clearly visible.“
Feeling of safety (7)“As a road user, you feel safer.”
“Safety has increased.“
Communication (3)“Improved communication among road users.”
“The flow of traffic has improved.”
Colour (3)“Colour is noticeable.”
Parking (1)“The Front Brake Light helped with parking”
Other (7)“Vehicles of other companies should also be equipped.”
“You have to get used to it.“

Front brake light

A product that
saves lives

The Front Brake Light should be recognised as an additional, cost-effective and easily implementable measure to reduce traffic collisions, not least in terms of reducing the actual risk to pedestrians.

Science and Research
of Front Brake Light

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