"Black Out" Headlights - Huh?

What is with this business of “black out” over headlights? Do they transmit any light at all, or is it assume the vain individual will be “bright” enough to remove at night?

If they don’t transmit light, I hate to ask what drivers driving into a suddenly foggy or stormy stretch of road.

And, why is “low riding” cool? Must be for blind drivers who use potholes as braile?

Sorry, my fingers were asleep at the keyboard. Rewording, I meant to ask “What do drivers do when driving into a sudden fog bank or storm”?

      • This is from the dawn of me, but some types of racing it was common to use fiberglass bodies that came with “fake” headlight bulges: you could put real headlights in if you wanted too, but the racing was done only during daylight hours so you didn’t need to. I seem to remember seeing this in some classes of drag racing, and stock-car racing also. I don’t know why they painted them black (I’m thinking 60’s, maybe?); now you often see them painted to look like real headlights, even though they aren’t.
      • “Blacking” out vehicle lights (putting dark plastic covers over them) is only fashion. Enough light does shine through that you can still see the road at night, -sort of. Usually people that do this solve that little problem by normally using the high beams or mounting fog or driving lights, but often the lights are selected on the basis of how they look, not how well they work so the beam is the wrong shape, and the light is mounted in the wrong location. -But the whole get-up looks cool. Oh well. - I kinda like it: while driving, it gives you a visual clue as to what sort of person you are dealing with behind the other wheel. - MC

I knew someone who refused to turn their headlights on until the LAST possible hint of sunlight and dusk had faded into total black. The “reasoning” was it attracts moths, and the bugs stain the hood of the car. Vanity!

Could also be some of the off-road lights on the market. There are some lights that have a black background, instead of the usual reflective background, when they’re not on.

No no, Jinx is talking about those idiotic shades you can buy to put over your headlights. Like sunglasses for your car. I think some people have a lame sense of what is “cool”. They are even worse than the miniature wipers that I have seen on the headlights of certain species of automobile. Does water on the headlights really cut down that much on the light output? Has anybody ever, after turning them on to wipe away the water dropletts, said “Ahh that’s much better!”

Well, Opus, I have heard that some offroad driving conditions are bad enough that headlights will get affected. They are lower than the windshield, after all, and mud is mud. You’re right that the average city driver doesn’t need them, but some car manufacturers (Volvo, IIRC) just make it a standard so they can attract offroad people (or city people with goofy tastes) without adding it as an expensive option.

Since much of the cool trend in cars is towards dysfunctional design, I think I will patent the idea of square tires, if it has not already been done. I will be rich…rich RICH!!!

Hummm, Have not seen Rich for a while… Hey, Vegforlife, where you be?


No, but snow and slush can render headlights practically worthless.


“What do drivers do when driving into a sudden fog bank or

If you are me, driving up highway one below Big Sur, Calif, in a 65 vw bug with dim headlights cause I didn’t ground them properly, you go as fast as possible, like 60mph & hope for the best.

Quite frequently, they crash into the morons in front of them, who themselves have crashed into the morons in front of them, ad nauseum.

      • Side Note: I was once told by a cop that if one’s car ever breaks down on the highway, to pull off the road at a right angle to the pavement (perpendicular to it). The reason is that it is common for drunk/stupid or otherwise unaware people to see the reflective taillight lenses and drive right into them, thinking that they are following another moving vehicle. He advised getting out and standing some distance in front of your vehicle, when possible. - MC