Beemon

Third Brake Light

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I did a quick search and nothing concrete popped up for what people were using for a third brake light IF they were using a third brake light. I recently just saw a post on Facebook about someone getting rear ended during the weekend and it brought up a good point. Most modern drivers look out for that third brake light. I can tell you right now I've had many close encounters at the university already and young people aren't really the brightest when it comes to driving, what with smart phones and all (which is funny because both my parents have been driving forever, constantly comment on modern driver's poor quality while simultaneously using their cell phones). Regardless, not having the third brake light is like being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

 

It seems the only quality light out there is the Billet Specialties model Summit Racing sells, but that's about it. There's no documentation online or anything.

 

I also wasn't sure if I should post this into modified or not. It's not really a modified type subject, more of a general how do we make our cars safer subject.

 

Anyways, feel free to add suggestions, discuss, etc. Tell me how its a good idea or in your opinion a waste of time, assuming that modern drivers are smart enough to look three cars ahead instead of the one in front of them.

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Sometimes it seems that different things attract attention.  When the 3rd brake light was first introduced, it was different, and it was a stand out thing.  Now though, so much time has passed that they are just part of the routine.  So it is not a fail safe, and,  if anything, quite possibly a missing 3rd light may be more of that "something different" that gets noticed.  But if you have already made up your mind,  and if you can source a different trunk emblem,, then how about putting a super bright led into the concave center of the emblem?

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John, as cool as that sounds, the purpose of the third brake light is to have something at or above eye level that's directly in front of the driver behind you. Usually not an issue on SUVs where their lights are high enough to be seen easily. 

 

I'd like to say with new lenses and 1157 bulbs that my brake lights are pretty good, even during daylight. However, I feel they could be even better. 

 

http://www.apa.org/action/resources/research-in-action/brake.aspx

 

I know I give psychology majors a hard time, but there are real life test results that prove having one is better than not having one. 

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Go looking for a middle '80s LeSabre in the salvage yards.  Get the light assy, the mounting brkts.  GM did an accessory kit for this, which had all of the wiring harnesses in it, too.

 

You can use a relay that's powered by the brake lights on your car.  Then do the other related wiring for the light.  Might need to trim the shroud around the edge of the light, where it touches the rear window glass.

 

NTX5467

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2 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

I figured you had already made up your mind. lol...

 

I mean I get it and it looks better without one, but I daily my car as a main source of transportation, so I have a much higher chance of getting into an accident than say your 56 does. Especially into Fall/Winter, where the days are shorter and the roads are wetter.

 

Willis, thanks for the heads up. I'll see what I can source for less than $50.

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consider putting the third brake light on a rear license plate set up. I have one there and have been told it is real easy to see at night.

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Check the February 2018 Buick Bugle and in it I described a wireless high brake light that you can make yourself.   Wireless because I did not want to drill any holes in the back package shelf.  If that is not an issue for you then you can wire it directly as described above.

Joe, BCA 33493

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I drive slower then traffic.  People don't stay behind me for long!!!  If at all!    I would vote for a third light in the license plate area as well.  Keeps the look.   Does draw attention as the third brake light should.      

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Before the "Cyclops" third brake light happened, there was an accessory company called "Wolo" who marketed a license plate frame with lights.  Colored lights that sequentially flashed when the car was in use.  Or something like that.  Could be easily activated by the brake light circuit, possibly.  In many of the chain auto supplies, there are many accessory led light strings that can be used for drls and such, so there might be some in "red" that could work for third stop lights?  Use your imagination . . .

 

To me, a KEY thing with older vehicles is to make sure the tail light reflector is shiny, rather than "degraded with age".  This can make a big difference in how bright the rear lights are, even with new bulbs.  Don't forget to also clean the inner surface of the tail light lens itself!  With a missing "filter", road dust can make its way into the light and hinder any reflectivity that needs to be there.

 

Enjoy!

NTX5467

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Hey, Ben, as I read this thread, some of the comments bring back to memory something I read somewhere along the way. You are in a position to prove, disprove, or otherwise.  Does white reflect light better than chrome or aluminum or such.? Inquiring minds want to know.

 

  Ben

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I am considering something similar for my 1939 Roadmaster, but in reverse.  At present, my rear signal lights are in the middle of the trunk--not a location that drivers anticipate.  I am contemplating converting the tail lights to dual filament bulbs for brake and signal lights and making the existing "Buick Eight" signal lights a third brake light.  The Buick Eight lights are pretty high up when compared to many modern cars.  Any thoughts?

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The license plate idea I don't think will work well considering that majority of people's eye sight are going to be above the trunk. Have you ever ridden behind your own car? And I know it goes without saying that most people have a really small attention span when driving, I doubt someone is going to pay attention to a license plate that's recessed underneath the bumper. There's a reason why the third brake light was mandated after 1994 on all vehicles, and that its higher than the other two. Psychologically, it creates a triangle of attention right at eyesight of most if not all drivers whether it be trucks or cars. Inverting the triangle draws attention to the ground.. I mean, how often do you all actively look at the bottom of someone's rear bumper versus looking through the window of the car in front of you?

 

Driving slower in traffic is not an option. One, I always drive 5 over the speed limit... Two, driving 5 under the speed limit is against the law (in Washington State) and a nuisance to everyone.

 

I found an interesting solution on the Tri-5 forums. A gentleman over there used a 92-99 Suburban third brake light in the rear window. On the Escalades with barn doors, they were chrome.

BpXA8.jpg

 

My package tray is pretty toast, but I feel I can make a box that can be fashioned underneath the rear speaker screen. It just needs to be elevated above the rear window trim.

 

Joseph, I will look into your solution as well. Having something that's not permanent sounds good as long as it can be done cleanly.

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That looks like a pretty nice solution.  I've also seen locally (typically on Subaru's) a "4th" brake light that connects to where a small hitch would go.  That brake light flashes 2-3 times when the brakes are first applied so it does draw your attention.  I've seen the same thing on some larger motorcycles as well.  The super bright LED's combined with the flashing really works, and they are low on the car.  Sorry for the Canadian Amazon site, but you get the idea:  https://www.amazon.ca/Flashing-Harness-Mounting-Bracket-2011-2017/dp/B01N083E2M/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1536165487&sr=8-4&keywords=flashing+brake+light+led

 

With the convertible, I really have no place to mount a third brake light with the top down, so my strategy has always been to pump the brakes when slowing down so the brake lights flash for the driver behind me.  Same idea as above really.

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My third brake light is integrated into the license plate frame.

 

 

3rd B-light1.jpg

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