Driving in NJ? Please remember to turn the high beams off (Opinion)
It's a pet peeve I think most of us have in New Jersey. Doesn't matter if it's daytime or night, there's always that one person who doesn't seem to understand the concept of keeping their high beams off.
Now to be fair to the offender, maybe it's because they have a car with automatic lights. Cars like that make it easy to forget the lights are on in the first place, thus, possibly making the driver not realize the high beams might be in the on position.
I'll admit, sometimes it can be hard to know when headlights are on when it comes to automatic cars. I had a car like that myself once where the headlights were always on, even though it had an on/off switch for them.
But, that was an older car. The car I have now keeps the side running lights on, but not the headlights. What's more, most cars nowadays have a small indicator telling you when the headlights are on, as well as the blue high beam indicator for when that's switched on.
But even with that, there are still ways to tell if those high beams are on. If it's dark out, it's noticeably brighter. If you're unable to tell the difference, test it out at night between the different settings. It's better than blinding everyone who comes your way.
Cars driving toward you
Aside from that, other drivers might also try to warn you when you have them on. Have you ever noticed that flashing they do to you when they're about to pass you? It doesn't necessarily mean there's a cop up ahead. More often than not, they're trying to tell you you're blinding them with your high beams.
Anytime someone does that to you, please do us a favor and check. If it was an honest mistake, then just turn them off. Problem solved.
But all too often, some vehicles are oblivious to this and continue to drive with their brights on, blinding everyone and anything in their wake. Not only is this rude, but it also increases the likelihood of an accident.
Cars in front of you
This is another problem area with people who are completely unaware they're blinding everyone coming toward them. They also blind those they come behind.
You don't have to be staring right toward the lights for this to be dangerous. Reflections from the car's mirrors in front of you are also reflecting the light right back into the driver's eyes.
What's worse about this scenario is the inability of that driver to warn you your high beams are on. They can't simply flash their high beams back at you and try and give you a heads up. Oftentimes, they're stuck dealing with you behind them until they can either turn off or find a moment to move over and let you pass.
Those bright lights play tricks on the eyes
At night, the contrast between dark and bright can be jarring. If it's severe enough, it can make it dangerously hard to see for the driver who has to deal with your inability to be courteous on the road.
It's one thing if you're by yourself on the road, but those brights need to go off when other cars are around. Especially for people with glasses or vision issues, this can really make it hard to see.
High beams with pedestrians
I've never understood this one. Why do some cars feel the need to purposely turn their high beams on when they see someone walking toward them?
This has happened to me, even while walking on a sidewalk. A car's approaching driving toward me from the front, and they purposely put on their high beams.
Why? I was able to see you clearly, but now you ensured I'll be seeing spots. Not to mention, you made it even more difficult to see. There's no need to panic, we can see you if we're walking your way.
Can create road rage
A major potential problem for people who have a harder time controlling themselves. A car in front you might try to stop short to give you the hint.
Or, a car coming your way puts its high beams on in an effort to blind you. Both scenarios not only increase the odds of an accident but will also raise tempers.
Some of you just flat-out don't care
As stated earlier, sometimes it's an honest mistake, and all other drivers are trying to do is let you know they're on. But there are also some of you who are fully aware you have them on and simply don't care.
For those of you who don't care, I'd love to know what your deal is? Does it make you feel like a big person driving around with the brights on all the time? Whatever the reason is, it just makes you look like a jerk. Almost like you want to go out of your way to cause problems.
In reality, most of us should feel sorry for you. If you do it on purpose with an attitude, then it's really sad. You are part of the reason our roads are less safe, and yet, you don't seem to care.
Please just try to be aware
Aside from the obvious jerks out there, most of us probably do it by mistake, which happens. Just please try and pick up on the cues from other drivers who are only trying to give you a heads up.