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Blinding lights! A Growing Highway Hazard

Flickr user thienzieyung

Has anybody else noticed that there seems to be an etiquette problem on the roads these days?

Say, for example, you’re heading up the Garden State Parkway to visit family, it’s getting dark out so everyone has their headlights on, then some car slides into your lane and practically blinds you with their high beams on. Since they’re behind you there’s not really a whole lot you can do. At least if someone is in the opposite direction, you can flash your high beams to alert them to the fact that theirs are still on  (and shining right in your face).

The weird thing is, I feel like this is a relatively recent thing. At some point in the not too distant past, something happened that people felt like it was just ok to drive around with their brights on all the time. When I started driving, I was more or less taught that your high beams were only for those really dark, unlit roads where there weren’t any other vehicles (Double Trouble Road at 8pm, anyone?). If another car happens to come your way, you’re courteous and turn your high beams off.

But these days I feel like almost every night I have cars behind me on major, well lit roads, with other cars on the road, just driving with their brights on the whole time. And I’m not just talking about those really bright, blue xenon headlights (which are bad enough for other drivers), I mean the standard high beams that are seemingly angled to purposely reflect off your rear view mirror and assault your corneas.

Who knows, maybe it’s just part of the fact that as a whole society seems to be less courteous than ever, but there’s a big difference between someone not saying “thank you” when you hold the door for them and actually putting other drivers in a dangerous situation just so they can see better.

Is it just me, or have you noticed this too? Feel free to leave a comment below!

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