Originally Posted by Andrew Gibbens
I would question whether it really helps, other than the driver's peace of mind. It's not like any fiberglass trailer is too small to see and I would question if brake lights really have that much effect on a following driver that isn't paying attention...
That is exactly my point.. most rear-enders are caused by drivers following too close, going too fast, being distracted, etc.
The best thing you can do is leave enough space so YOU don't get surprised and have to make a quick or panic stop... if you can decelerate at a slower rate that gives the guy behind you more time to react. But if you make a quick stop, that guy 10 feet behind you, going 60 MPG while texting, will hit you.
One time that having higher brake lights will help is when that same SOB following you too close is blocking the view of your low brake lights. That s the start of the chain reaction rear end collisions that often involve multiple vehicles.
(BTW, the tractor trailer is MORE likely to see your lower lights)