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    1. #1
      Junior Member Olega's Avatar
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      Strobe/Flashing Brake lights

      Just an idea to install strobe/brake lights instead of plain light reflectors rear of XC90 or perhaps third brake light strobe. See photo attached. Iíve seen plenty of other brand cars with such addon DIY. No sure if possible with Volvoís. I am afraid it would throw error codes if you hardwire it brake lights. I couldnít find anything online for XC90. Other cars yes, but no Volvoís. I know itís some type of relay install that that makes brake light flash several times. Very useful feature in high traffic areas. What do you guys think. Possible?

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    3. #2
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      I hope it's not possible. I was following a new Acura MDX with a strobe third brake light in stop and go traffic the other day, and it was incredibly annoying as the strobe engaged every few seconds while driving less than 5 MPH. I could understand the usefulness of a strobe brake light if it only activated under heavy braking or braking at higher speeds, but these systems that flash the strobe for every light tap of the brakes make driving in stop and go traffic that much worse for everyone else. Imagine how annoying it would be if every car had strobe brake lights.
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    4. #3
      Junior Member Olega's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by SDspeed View Post
      I hope it's not possible. I was following a new Acura MDX with a strobe third brake light in stop and go traffic the other day, and it was incredibly annoying as the strobe engaged every few seconds while driving less than 5 MPH. I could understand the usefulness of a strobe brake light if it only activated under heavy braking or braking at higher speeds, but these systems that flash the strobe for every light tap of the brakes make driving in stop and go traffic that much worse for everyone else. Imagine how annoying it would be if every car had strobe brake lights.
      You may be right. Itís just we have a lot of bad drivers here in the NW. Heavy traffic in Seattle area. Just wanted to get some extra attention by other drivers that looking at their phones and not the road. I am surprised how many US drivers have no ideal what rear fog lights are and many drive with them on all the time, (thankfully not a lot of cars that hit US market have them though, although itís a very nice feature)Rear fog lights is very hard on the eyes of the driver behind. As for flashing brake lights I mean some LEDs instead of reflectors that are not to hard on the eyes for driver behind as main brake light would be.

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    6. #4
      Junior Member Bryan LV's Avatar
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      Flashing I can see, but I believe it is illegal in the us except for the high mount brake light. Strobe is used for construction/maintenance and emergency vehicles. Many people including myself are sensitive to strobe lights. If I was in stop and go traffic behind a car with strobe brake lights I would be throwing up by the end of the congestion and be in bed with a migraine the next day. Pump your breaks, that will give the same flashing effect.


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    7. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by Bryan LV View Post
      Flashing I can see, but I believe it is illegal in the us except for the high mount brake light.
      I was using strobe/flashing interchangeably, but you're right - they aren't the same thing. The MDX I saw had a flashing third brake light, but it was still annoying in stop and go traffic. Ambulances with true strobe brake lights are even worse.
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    8. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by Olega View Post
      Itís just we have a lot of bad drivers here in the NW. Heavy traffic in Seattle area. Just wanted to get some extra attention by other drivers that looking at their phones and not the road.
      I hear you. My wife was rear ended at low speed while driving the XC90 in rush hour traffic by someone who wasn't paying attention. I don't know what the answer is other than driving the safest vehicle you can buy and hoping that distracted driving laws are aggressively enforced.
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    9. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by Olega View Post
      Just an idea to install strobe/brake lights instead of plain light reflectors rear of XC90 or perhaps third brake light strobe. See photo attached. Iíve seen plenty of other brand cars with such addon DIY. No sure if possible with Volvoís. I am afraid it would throw error codes if you hardwire it brake lights. I couldnít find anything online for XC90. Other cars yes, but no Volvoís. I know itís some type of relay install that that makes brake light flash several times. Very useful feature in high traffic areas. What do you guys think. Possible?
      I use flashing 3rd brake light on our 07'V70.
      When I have time I will be looking into flashing 3rd. brake light on our 2018 V90CC.
      Do I think it is annoying to other drivers behind me - yup. If their annoyed it has their attention and that is the purpose of the flashing light. If they don't like it they can pass me.
      I don't know what the OP means by strobe. Same as flashing???? Don't know.

    10. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by GRUENDIG View Post
      I use flashing 3rd brake light on our 07'V70. Do I think it is annoying to other drivers behind me - yup. If their annoyed it has their attention and that is the purpose of the flashing light. If they don't like it they can pass me.
      True, but that logic is a slippery slope. When we're all driving trucks because everyone else is and we all have flashing brake lights we'll all be worse off.
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    11. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by SDspeed View Post
      True, but that logic is a slippery slope. When we're all driving trucks because everyone else is and we all have flashing brake lights we'll all be worse off.
      But we will not all be driving with flashing 3rd brake lights. Like it or not it "does" have your attention and that is it's intended purpose. If you don't like it you always have the option of passing, pulling over until I'm 2 cars ahead. Options abound - your choice if you want to take advantage of them.

    12. #10
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      Terrible idea, think of the people with epilepsy or light sensitivities. Plus everyone else that will be extremely annoyed by your poor decisions. Cars already turn the warning lights when you brake heavily. You don't need to bother other drivers in stop/go traffic.

    13. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by carz View Post
      Terrible idea, think of the people with epilepsy or light sensitivities. Plus everyone else that will be extremely annoyed by your poor decisions. Cars already turn the warning lights when you brake heavily. You don't need to bother other drivers in stop/go traffic.
      And your saying people don't get rear ended in stop and go traffic?
      What are the chances of someone with epilepsy or light sensitivities right behind me.
      they have options.
      If my poor decision prevents me from getting rear ended by people not paying attention - o well I sleep good at night.

    14. #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by GRUENDIG View Post
      And your saying people don't get rear ended in stop and go traffic?
      What are the chances of someone with epilepsy or light sensitivities right behind me.
      they have options.
      If my poor decision prevents me from getting rear ended by people not paying attention - o well I sleep good at night.
      If you were in front of me I will smash your car to put an end to that misery /s

      Of course people get rear-ended, but the benefit/pain is not acceptable. What's going to be next? Driving on stop/go traffic with your high beam lights because you feel safer?

    15. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by carz View Post
      If you were in front of me I will smash your car to put an end to that misery /s

      Of course people get rear-ended, but the benefit/pain is not acceptable. What's going to be next? Driving on stop/go traffic with your high beam lights because you feel safer?
      My benefit - your pain is quite acceptable.

    16. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by Olega View Post
      You may be right. Itís just we have a lot of bad drivers here in the NW. Heavy traffic in Seattle area. Just wanted to get some extra attention by other drivers that looking at their phones and not the road. I am surprised how many US drivers have no ideal what rear fog lights are and many drive with them on all the time, (thankfully not a lot of cars that hit US market have them though, although itís a very nice feature)Rear fog lights is very hard on the eyes of the driver behind. As for flashing brake lights I mean some LEDs instead of reflectors that are not to hard on the eyes for driver behind as main brake light would be.
      It won't make any difference - the terrible drivers in Seattle will still drive into the back of you, whether its good weather or bad.
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    17. #15
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      It could also be counterproductive from a safety perspective. The flashing third brake light on the MDX I was following was annoying enough that after a while I tried to avoid looking directly at the back of the car and watched them with peripheral vision instead which wasn't safer for either of us. And, no, the street did not allow room to pass or pull over - not that either should be required.

      When everything is an emergency, nothing is an emergency. So the first time a following car sees you use the brakes this feature will undoubtedly draw attention. But what about the 10th time in heavy traffic or the 100th time? To the OP I would suggest following a car with this feature for a few miles before deciding whether or not it is a good idea. And with everyone seeming to agree that flashing brake lights are annoying to other drivers, I'm not sure why anyone would intentionally want to do that. Drivers have inadvertently triggered road rage with lesser transgressions.

      I wouldn't modify brake lights to flash at every press of the pedal regardless of speed or braking effort - and that's coming from someone whose XC90 has already been rear-ended.
      Last edited by SDspeed; 10-16-2019 at 09:46 PM.
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    18. #16
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      Interesting.. Our cars should already have this function.

      Page 282 in my manual:

      Rear Collision Warning (RCW)

      The Rear Collision Warning with braking at standstill (RCW) function can help the driver avoid rear-end collisions. RCW is activated automatically each time the engine is started and cannot be turned off. RCW can warn the driver of a vehicle approaching yours from behind by rapidly flashing your rear turn signals. RCW is only activated when a vehicle is rapidly approaching your vehicle from behind.
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    19. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by n a m View Post
      RCW is only activated when a vehicle is rapidly approaching your vehicle from behind.
      And that would be an appropriate use of this technology. Installing an aftermarket device to flash the brake lights with every press of the pedal is entirely different.
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    20. #18
      Junior Member Olega's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by n a m View Post
      Interesting.. Our cars should already have this function.

      Page 282 in my manual:

      Rear Collision Warning (RCW)

      The Rear Collision Warning with braking at standstill (RCW) function can help the driver avoid rear-end collisions. RCW is activated automatically each time the engine is started and cannot be turned off. RCW can warn the driver of a vehicle approaching yours from behind by rapidly flashing your rear turn signals. RCW is only activated when a vehicle is rapidly approaching your vehicle from behind.
      That is nice feature! What I was thinking though is to add a few more lights (not too bright LEDs) instead of reflectors.

    21. #19
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      Your suggestion, although not without merit, may be illegal in your area of jurisdiction. I would check first.
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    22. #20
      Junior Member Jazx83's Avatar
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      Cars without RCW have been adding tail light modulators as they do not have this premium feature. I am seeing people using the modulators more and more often it is a distraction to everyone on the road. Since you have RCW do not need to add any additional lighting.
      Letís say youíre in bumper-to-bumper traffic and every time you press the brake your tail lights starts flashing. Now itís the traffic starts to free up and again you press the brake but this time harder. However the vehicle behind you has no idea that you are now braking more aggressively and now slams in the back of you.

      RCW provides the right amount of braking lighting to let the vehicles behind you know youíre stopping aggressively adding any additional lighting will will lessen RCW conspicuousness.


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    23. #21
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      Something to keep in mind about the strobing brake lights is people with epilepsy can be triggered into seizures with strobing/rapidly flashing lights

    24. #22
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      You know, using strobes is like ALL CAPS—gets people’s attention too, but AFTER A WHILE IT GETS KIND OF ANNOYING and people will begin to loath volvos and no longer want to buy them

    25. #23
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      Agree with everyone else saying that these flashing brakes lights are extremely annoying and counterproductive. In fact, next time someone in front of me has this stupid modification, I'm going to put my high beams on for the rest of the drive.

      Think about it. It's an easy thing to do, so why aren't the manufacturers doing it? Because it's pointless the way its implemented in the aftermarket. The way Volvo (and Audi, and BMW, and who knows who else) has implemented it makes perfect sense. Only flashing when making a "panic stop". Leave it as it is. Otherwise, you will be just as annoying and hated and these kids with HID bulbs in the stock reflector housings on their Hondas.

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