Turn off your brights!!!!

Lately I feel like there are so many more cars driving with their highbeams on. What gives?? It's so dangerous to oncoming traffic! Sometimes it's the super white new LED headlights but mostly it just seems to be the brights. Have people forgotten how to turn them off?!

Tonight I drove home from work on South Orange Ave tonight half blinded by the brights of the car behind me, shining right in my rearview mirror. It wasn't even dark out. I don't get it.


I'm with you on this one! Ever since I moved here, I feel that people in this area do not know the difference between normal and high beam lights or just don't know when to use which. For me, it is especially Wyoming ave that I see most of the offenders... My strategy is this:

if oncoming car has high beams shining at me, then I give them a few seconds to turn them off, if it continues then I turn my highbeams on until his/hers drop down to normal or we pass each other.

if car behind me has high beams shining into my mirror, I will flip my rearview mirror and hope they go elsewhere, however if it continues and is making my driving difficult then I let them pass me and then I go behind them and shine my highbeams in their rearview mirror for a few seconds oh oh

Perhaps I'm a jerk--but I feel obligated to teach others how to be courteous to others on the road oh oh


This is a long-time pet peeve of mine.  

TarheelsInNJ, I'm pretty sure there must be a driving school which teaches people: "If you want someone to get out of your way, just tailgate them with your high beams on. It's the law that they have to.  No, really."

In recent years I find myself pulling to the side more often (while gritting my teeth) to let the tailgaters and high-beamers go their merry way.  I hate doing it, but it's smart driving.  

Oh, and the worst is when I realize I've just passed oncoming cars and forgotten to turn off my high beams.  It doesn't happen often, but when it does I feel sheepish.


I think it is just the new headlights that are much brighter than the older ones we grew up with.  My husband is more bothered by it than I am, but his eyes are VERY sensitive to light so that doesn't surprise me.


I have a funny story about high beams.  Back in '94 a friend purchased a new car.  We went out one night and I noticed that she was driving around with her high beams on, but I didn't say anything.  After awhile she mentioned that people kept flashing their high beams at her and she didn't know why.  I said that it was probably because she was driving around with her high beams on and it made it difficult for other people to see.  She said no, her car didn't come with high beams, and showed me how there was no stomp button on the floor.  I then showed her how to pull back on the headlight control and it would turn the high beams on and off.  Her previous car had been so old that she didn't realize that the high beam control had been moved off the floor YEARS ago.


I don't think that it's just because headlights are brighter. A lot of people drive with their brights. You can tell by which position the light is coming from. The center lights are the brights. The outer lights are the low beams.

I think it is because newer cars have automated lights.  So nobody has to engage in any thinking around them anymore.  They are most likely completly oblivious.  That said, surely there is a high beam light on their dashboard. Doh.

Folks, this is New Jersey.  Driving aptitude is lower here than in other states. When my relatives visit, they are horrified at the way we drive.  

I am amazed at how many drivers don't even bother to turn their lights on at all.


Having just moved here from the City I think the real reason this happens is the obvious.  The streets are just really dark here.

Before we moved here we had been out plenty in the day looking at houses and we decided one evening around Christmas to come out and see what the lights were like at night.  I was pretty shocked at how dark the streets were.  It makes it really tempting to put your brights on and eventually someone else is going to show up going the other way.

What I have been surprised about are how many cars I see driving around with only one working headlight.  Get them fixed people!



ictulips02 said:

I think it is because newer cars have automated lights.  So nobody has to engage in any thinking around them anymore.  They are most likely completly oblivious.  That said, surely there is a high beam light on their dashboard. Doh.

 Automated lights don't come on as high beams. You have to turn on high beams.


qrysdonnell I scoff at your remark! Scoff scoff scoff.


I grew up in northern Westchester county, which isn't much farther from NYC than MAPSO.  You want dark roads, head up there some time!

Scoff again I say.


I totally agree that the streets are dark, and I often turn on my high beams when driving. But I *turn them off* when a car is coming! It's very basic road etiquette.

For those of us that are sensitive to light (I get migraines) it's even more frustrating.



mrincredible said:

qrysdonnell I scoff at your remark! Scoff scoff scoff.


I grew up in northern Westchester county, which isn't much farther from NYC than MAPSO.  You want dark roads, head up there some time!

Scoff again I say.

 Hey, I'm not saying that they're the darkest roads I've ever seen in my life.  But they're probably the darkest roads I've ever seen in areas where the housing is so dense.


There are more big SUVs on the road than ever, and their headlights sit higher. So in addition to having their brights on unnecessarily, they're closer to eye level.


For me, the blue-white (xenon?) very intense headlights are very difficult to deal with when they are oncoming at night. Whether they are on their high-beam setting or whether it is just a function of their intensity and color, I hate them.


You wanna talk dark streets, try moving to the "quiet northeastern corner of Connecticut." Holy freakin' crap. I was afraid to drive here at night for about six months. Pitch black. No street lamps.

But I totally agree about brights. It seems everyone up here keeps their brights on at all times. And with light blue/grey eyes, it's murder on my night vision.


Yup, I hate the brights, but in the past few months it seems like the scarier burgeoning problem is people not turning their headlights on at all.  Used to be I might see one person like that per month.  These days every time I'm out at night I see at least one, often more.  People are getting so used to lights coming on automatically that when they're in a car that's not automatic, or someone accidentally disables the automatic switch, it doesn't even occur to them to check.




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