Impure Thoughts #7: The High Beam Debate Ends Today.

Impure Thoughts #7: The High Beam Debate Ends Today.

It is dark out and I have just passed you.


After a few seconds, I look in my mirror to make sure I’m passed you and put my turn signal on to move back to the right lane.


You FLASH YOUR HIGH BEAMS to let me know I’m clear!

Or worse yet, leave them on a second or two.


Now, flash blinded, I make my lane change, curse your being and move along into the night shaking my head, and hating you. I probably won’t even say anything on the radio, as arguing with an idiot equals two idiots.


I used to think about a great many things, there was basically a right way and wrong way to get things done. As I’ve aged slightly, I realize more and more that there are in fact many ways to do most things, and if a “job well done” means nobody got hurt, and everyone is happy, then pretty much any way to do something is okay.


Flashing your high beams in someone’s face to let them know they are clear of your truck is not one of these things.


234 years ago, before satellite radio, I was listening to The Truckin’ Bozo one night, and the topic of discussion was this very thing. One guy called in and in a cranky old drivers tone said, “That’s the way I been doing’ it for 35 years. I flash my high beams. I don’t turn my lights off.” I thought to myself, ‘well, at least he’s consistent in his stupidity. 'Doing something wrong for a long time does not make it correct'.


Flashing your high beams in someone’s mirror is the wrong way to signal that they have passed you.


Don’t these folks who do this pass people every now and then, and get high beams in their face at night, and realize it’s not a good idea? Or do they like driving for the next 15 minutes with spots in their eyes, which may just hide a small car with a family of four returning from Grandmas?


Yes, by flashing your high beams in my eyes, I believe you are creating an unsafe situation by blinding another driver. You are not “helping” as it were, and provided you make a smart assed comment after I make my lane change like “You’re welcome…” because I don’t blink my lights, well, now you know why. It’s because you didn’t really “help”.


Once, I heard a driver complain that he would like to turn his lights off and on briefly, but that the company has a daytime driving light policy, and the lights on the truck never really shut off.


Usually, we can tell as we are looking in the mirror. The daytime lights are not as bright as the headlights.


Let's try an experiment.

If you don’t think this is a big deal, or you yourself are one of the many high beam jackasses out there, consider this; sit in a very dark room, with your eyes open. Then, let a camera flash go in this very dark room. Now, very quickly, turn on the lights, and try to find your keys. I hope you stub your frickin’ toe and bang your shin on everything.


Another option is…just sit there. That’s right, do nothing. Personally, I’m fine with this. My depth perception is not so bad that I can’t tell where you are anyway, so you just sitting there in your 62 mph truck and not doing anything is just fine.


You could say something in the CB when I pass you, but I don’t listen to it most of the time, so I probably wouldn’t hear you anyway.


Let’s recap:


Using your high beams at night to let someone know they are clear of your truck after they have just passed you is the wrong way to do so.

You're not helping, you're creating a hazard.

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