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    I want to see the bright lights tonight

    Oh, one last thing before I turn in: WTF is it with people not turning off their brights until you’re close enough to shake hands? Over the last few years, it’s happened to me more and more, and tonight coming back up from Bucks County, it was just dumbfounding. I mean, of the fifteen or so cars I passed, maybe three remembered to switch off their high beams from a distance of a few hundred feet. The rest were close enough for me to get a good look at their hood ornaments before they moved. I do understand that sometimes you don’t see the next car until you come over a hill or around a bend where the woods are dense–the whole reason you need high beams is that back roads crest, dip, and curve all over the place, after all. And sometimes, you’re just being absentminded and you forget until the oncoming car flashes its lights at you. I’ve been guilty of that myself. I find it hard to believe that was the case for a dozen people, practically in a row, on the same stretch of road, though.

    27 November 04:33 EST

    5 Responses to “I want to see the bright lights tonight”

    1. Eric Scheie says:

      Thanks for making me feel about 20 years younger! Seriously, bright headlights are so bad that lately I’ve been thinking that I was losing my night vision. I tried to imagine that it was a case of people being ruder than ever before, but a mean little voice inside me said it was a sign I was getting too old!

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      Well, I’m now approximately 100% over the age limit for an éphèbe, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with my vision. I say people are being rude, or just clue-deficient. Headlights are brighter than they used to be, but you can still tell when (eventually!) someone goes from high- to low-beams.
      It was doubly obnoxious because I was driving a jeep, so I was trying to be extra careful myself–you know what it’s like when you’re in a car, and an SUV that sits high has its halogens swearing at your face or rearview mirror? They don’t have to be on high to dazzle you.

    3. Toren says:

      I think you’ve been in Japan too long, where folks even switch off their lights at stop signals out of politeness (IMHO, a bad thing to do at night, but “to defy the laws of tradition is a crusade only of the brave”).
      Seriously, though, I think a lot of headlights are just misaligned. It still bugs the hell out of me, however.

    4. John says:

      It’s all the Yankees moving down your way into Bucks County (though I was raised to look at PA as “Yankee”). Up here, the Nutmeg-brains and Rhode Island Swamp Yankees do the same headlight thing, plus they drive 60 in the fast lane of a 65 zone. In a $&^%@# pick-up truck. If the slow mover in the fast lane isn’t a pick-up, then it’s a snowbird with FL plates.
      When you’re doing your best not to tailgate too closely to a left-lane 60 mph moron, some Masshole from Boston drives by at 90 in the slow lane, suddenly realizes the car ahead to your right is doing 50 and cuts you off with about a quarter car length to spare.
      Down south, most good old boys in pickem-up trucks make you think they used the Dukes of Hazard as driver training videos. I still can’t get used to slow-poking pick-ups.

    5. Sean Kinsell says:

      Don’t even start with me about Sunday drivers in the passing lane. (My parents actually live in Lehigh County, home of the New Jersey Property Tax Refugee, and it’s just insane. I mean, we thought it was insane when I was growing up–we didn’t know from insane.) The fact that all the old cornfield lanes have been paved over as two-lane local highways doesn’t exactly help, of course. And every intersection has a four-way stop now. Every damned one, because of all the traffic from the subdivisions. And no one seems to remember the rule that when two cars draw up at the same time, the one on the right goes first. Neanderthals. Speaking of &@#%$! (Clarification: I’m about as fond of smart-growth zealots as I am of enviro-freaks in general. I don’t think sprawl should be zoned out of existence, but that doesn’t mean I have to like McMansions or the idiot drivers who move in to populate them.)