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Old 06-22-2009, 10:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah, you should be able to activate the brake lights with just a slight pressure on the pedal.

I don't think I've seen a VW built in the last 12 years older than 6 months that has had all its lights working, many without any taillights at all (though they do light up very well when they happen to catch fire on the side of the road) and I always wonder how long it will be before they get rear-ended, but have yet to see a rear-ended car with intact, non-functioning brake lights. Could be that they get rear ended and fixed or junked, but I'm not sure if the lights really make a huge difference. I think most people don't look more than 10 feet ahead of their car and use the relative size of the gap between them and the next car to adjust their speeds. NHTSA studies done on the CHMSL after introduction in the '80's showed a marked improvement in incidents of rear-end collisions involving cars so equipped, but when the study was repeated about five years after (I forget the exact amount of time), they found the incidents rear-end collisions had reverted to pre-CHMSL days due to driver familiarity.

But I wonder how many people even look through the windshield at all anymore. I was rear ended at an on-ramp while under full acceleration in the 2.3 Mazda3 by an Audi 2.7T that was puling out behind me. The Mazda's no dragster, but it's not slow, the Audi is surely faster, but what the hell was the woman looking at to hit me? All she could say was, like a stupid child, "I don't know." $3000 in damage and whiplash. They might as well just hand out licenses in vending machines.
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