Thursday, June 7, 2007

Headlights aren't rocket science

Really, they aren't. But try telling that to folks around here.

Just the other day, I was pulling out from my road onto the main road. It was raining pretty hard, and I know I looked both ways, but when I pulled out, all of a sudden some SUV was on my left side, and the driver's looking at me like I'm an idiot. And I felt like one - until I noticed they had their headlights turned off. There's a good reason some (all?) states passed a law over the last couple years requiring headlights to be on when your wipers are - you can't see as far in the rain, and that's what happened. Some SUV driver thought he was Batman sneaking around in the rain liable to hit somebody.

I don't know if too many people are aware of this, but as I heard it, when the police determine fault in an accident, they don't just look at right-of-way. If one vehicle is obeying all traffic laws and the other is breaking some, or one is breaking more - such as speeding, such as driving while intoxicated... such as not having your lights on when you're supposed to. If you hit someone sneaking around in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, with their lights cut off, it's their fault even if they had right-of-way, because they were committing a terrible traffic violation - reckless endangerment, and that's about what it amounts to.

I speed. I admit it. But I really try to play by the rules on the road. I love to drive, but it doesn't work as a competition, it has to be cooperation. NASCAR and professionally organized races with safety precautions aside, I'm just talking about day to day driving.

And there's no reason to drive with the lights out. I don't think there's anything saying you can't have the headlights on all day. In fact a lot of GM drivers (and others that have this, I don't know which all do) leave the setting on auto - the lights are on when the car's on, off when the car's off. Pretty simple. High-beams on the other hand - that's different.

So hey. Be safe out there. Especially in bad weather. You never know who's in the other car. Could be there's a kid in the back, you just never know.

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