Grr! Driving Lights!

Why is it that so many drivers are going around with their fog/driving lights lit up all of the time? Not just during fog, snow or other inclement conditions for which these specialty lights were created.

Last week I counted the number of drivers I saw in a twenty mile pre-dawn drive who were using their driving lights. This was a clear, dark morning without fog or other impediments to good vision. And it was on a series of county roads, not a high traffic route at all. I counted eight. Five of them were at a level that blinded me, shining directly into my eyes. On the other hand, I counted three oncoming cars that were not using driving lights. I suspect only because their vehicles may not have been so equipped. Anecdotal? Of course, but aren’t all of our personal experiences anecdotal?

Does anyone else find those lights to be blinding when they are coming at you, particularly in the dark? I certainly am bothered by them, and especially when mounted on SUVs, full sized pickups, or other vehicles with a high profile. The light is often as blinding as high beam headlamps, which by law must be dimmed down as you approach oncoming traffic. Why not have, and enforce, a law barring the use of fog/driving lamps when they can affect other drivers?

Nearly as bad as being blinded by them when they are coming at you, is having to deal with the glare when being followed by someone who doesn’t know how to turn off their driving lights. Both of my vehicles have factory installed driving lights and I never use them except in the foggiest or snowiest of conditions. Even then I turn them off when approaching oncoming traffic. It’s easy to do. It just takes a flick of a switch.

Automobiles today are lit up with increasingly higher intensity headlights, nearly ubiquitous driving lights, running lights, and all manner of glare producing illumination. We may as well just light up the entire front of every car and truck with light bars akin to nighttime athletic field lighting and give everyone a new pair of Ray-Bans along with their driver’s license.

If it gets much more out of hand, tanning booths will become extinct because we will all be getting a nice maintenance tan everytime we drive at night, courtesy of the other cars on the road.

But seriously, it is a terrible safety hazard, not to speak of insufferably rude and arrogant that so many drivers today are putting their fellow drivers through this. If you’re one of the people who drives all the time with your driving lights on, please turn them off. Use them for their intended purpose if you will, but think of the other guy and turn them off otherwise.