Swing your flashlight

November 20, 2008

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Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief 10-43: Be Advised...
with Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief

Tip: Swing your flashlight

Ever notice that color seems to fade at night? That’s because rods, not cones, are what dominates a person’s night vision and makes it effective.

Rods, located in a ring on the outside edges of the inner eye, are more sensitive to light and movement, whereas cones, located throughout the inner eye but in extraordinary concentration at the center, are for color perception. As a consequence, at night there is literally a “blind spot” in the centermost degree (or two degrees in older eyes) of a person’s field of vision. So, peripheral vision – particularly picking up movement at the periphery – activates the most immediate central nervous system response at night.

Now consider a scenario in which you’re on a darkened street and a car is fast approaching. Because the human eye functions differently at night than in daytime, moving the beam light away from the center of the oncoming driver’s filed of view is very important. Alternating between waving a flashlight’s beam at your feet (illuminating and/or “strobing” your torso and legs in the process), and bringing the beam up directly at the approaching vehicle can substantially increase the effectiveness of your handheld light as a warning beacon.

Be well, do good, go get ‘em.
~ dw
Doug Wyllie
PoliceOne Senior Editor


About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. An award-winning columnist — he is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column — Doug has authored more than 800 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA). Even in his "spare" time, he is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

Read more articles by PoliceOne Editor in Chief Doug Wyllie by clicking here.

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