Saturday, March 07, 2015

Put your bloody lights on!

It's not a difficult concept is it? It's dark (or getting dark) so when you are driving you put your lights on.

I've been wanting to rant about this for ages.

I am staggered at the number of drivers I see that assume because they can still see without lights, it's ok to drive without lights and that other people can see them.

I don't know if it's made worse by the current season, with lengthening lighter evenings making it harder for people to think about when they put their lights on (if in doubt put them on), but it's either ignorance or a "look at how I can drive in the dark" attitude.

I have a relatively short commute of about 16 miles, but a significant proportion of that is on a busy motorway, and I am astounded by the number of people I see driving as the light fades with no lights or side lights at high motorway speeds. But it's not just motorways. It's everywhere.

There are two factions I'd like to point the finger of blame at here.

1) The driver
It's not rocket science. Lights are as much about you being seen as you being able to see. I recently drove to Exeter for work and was going down the M5, a particularly busy motorway at the best of time in driving rain - so bad, visibility was tens of yards at times and STILL I found people driving without ANY lights.
And don't just use sidelights - put the headlights on. Sidelights are frankly useless. Put your bloody headlights on!

2) The manufacturers

  • Don't put sidelights on cars - just put headlights in. That would stop idiots driving on sidelights.
  • Those bloody LED driving lights. Lots of people think because they've got them, they don't need "ordinary lights". Have you noticed that in most cases, when the cars on LED driving lights only, there are no tail lights on. Great if you're heading towards a car, rubbish if you're coming up on it from behind. I wonder how many people realise that?
  • Make "automatic" headlights compulsory. I'll never buy another car without auto lights. The dial is stuck on auto and it stays there. The only time I have to go to manual is the occasions when fog can fool the sensor into thinking it's still light.
And, whilst I'm on the subject of lights, how many cars do you see with a blown bulb? Loads. Get it fixed. It's a few quid for the bulb and even if you can't fit it yourself (and frankly the way cars are made these days it's getting harder - I have to take the whole headlight unit out to replace a bulb in my Mondeo). Halfords will do it for about £3 on the spot. Worth every penny I'd say unless your confident in doing it yourself. 

There's just no excuse not to be safe and seen on the road.

Turn them on. Please.

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