I’ve just completed a round-trip trek from the Baltimore area to southern New Jersey and was reminded of one of my all-time favorite peeves: people who have their hi-beams on at inopportune times. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s bothered by this, either.
You know the situation. You’re driving down the highway (expressway, turnpike, parkway, what have you)and all of a sudden, behind you are the brightest lights you’ve ever seen. You look at other cars behind you, in other lanes, and their lights don’t seem nearly as bright. So you flip your rearview mirror to night vision, still a mite perturbed.
An offshoot of this phenomenon is the car with only one headlight. Usually, it seems the owner of this car will compensate for the defective light bulb by putting on his hi-beams. This means, of course, that while the defective light is as normal brightness, the working light’s now at hi-beam illumination, making the car look like a drunken sailor.
I guess my rant is aimed at two kinds of people: the ones who know they have the defective light and haven’t gotten it fixed (or won’t) and those who simply like to drive with their hi-beams on. Yes, I know that if the person with the defective light doesn’t put the hi-beams on, then he or she will have only one working light. I’ll grant you that! But there seem to be more and more of these cars on the road. Aren’t you people going to get those lights fixed?? I’m tired of seeing your brights in my eyes!
Now, those of you who like to have the hi-beams on… What’s WRONG with you? You need to see another two feet or so in front of you? Don’t you realize that by shining your hi-beams (brights), the lights go directly to the rearview mirror of the car in front of you, thus distracting the driver and possibly causing an accident? All so you could see a little further ahead of you?
I also realize that there are more and more sport-utility vehicles on the road, and that usually these vehicles are a lot higher than my little Saturn, making their lights go into my eyes anyway, whether they’re using hi-beams or regular lights.
Here’s the thing. Hi-beams (brights) are to be used when it’s dark and visibility is limited due to a lack of, say, street lights. They’re used so you can follow the road more closely. They’re NOT to be used to bully other cars around! By trying unnecessarily to see better, you only make it harder for the cars in front of you to operate, and therefore make the possibility of an accident much more likely.