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Old 03-18-2013, 11:36 PM
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Default Driving with headlights on during daylight?

They say it is safer to drive with headlights on during the day. I wonder about that. Back when i was a kid in the 50's and 60's the only time you drove with headlights on was on Flag Day...Mon...moral..day. or if a funeral was passing by. If you saw someone with their lights on you'd flash yours to let them know. Now half the cars have tbeir lights on even with the sun shinning brigbt. I know a few guys wbo HATE seeing cars with their lights on during the day. But yet some of those guys or gals drive witb tbeir *COOL' lights on...parking lights that is. I really dont give a coons rump but is it really safer to drive with your lights on when the sun is bright? Maybe for those who cant see good coming at ya!
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:55 PM
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Many cars have daytime running lights that are almost as bright as headlights. Out here in the desert there are or used to be mandatory headlight zones on some highways because of heat haze/mirage. Cars also have better charging systems so running with your lights on is no big deal for the electrical system.

The ones that really frost me are those running with their foglights on at night when there is no fog. Mind you, some of the blame lies with the dumb DoT requirements (or lack thereof) regarding headlights. Folk run the fogs to get some sprad and foreground light while on low beams. Coming from Europe I was appalled at the awful lights on US built cars in the late 90s. No wonder you all ended up needing airbags, nobody could see anything at night.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:00 AM
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I've been doing that since I was 15 when I got my NY State "Junior License". I was just way ahead of my time.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:03 AM
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I see nothing wrong with a little added safety. I rode motorcycles for many years, so im kind of use to having my headlights on.

Here in Louisiana its a law u must have your headlights on "if" your windshield wipers are on (hence its raining). Obviously back in the day we didnt have such a law and it was perfectly fine. But now days people around here cant drive on a dry road. Put them on a wet road and its one hell of a challenge for them. I guess they think that having headlights on at all times will help them look for a better excuse next time they have an accident. 99% of the time their excuse is "I didnt see him/her".

I guess they could always do like my ex gf did one time. She wrecked her car, and she told the officer that she wrecked because the road moved. =-)
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:11 AM
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I guess they could always do like my ex gf did one time. She wrecked her car, and she told the officer that she wrecked because the road moved. =-)
She lied, it was the tree running in front of here that caused the wreck, but she do not want the tree cited for jaywalking.

Actually, the road moved is close to something I overheard here once. A lady was complaining to her friend that not all the major surface streets are straight. Errm, what ever happened to looking out the big window in the front and going where the road goes.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:19 AM
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Default Many years ago

Many years ago it was said that having lights on during the day increased your visibility to other drivers. These days with better batteries, lights, etc. it's no problem to keep them on. For a while it was a law for motorcycles to burn headlights during the day. I live off of a frontage road with trees down both sides. When I'm trying to turn onto the road, because of thick trees it is very dark down the road unless the sun is right overhead. Combine that with a dark colored car coming fast and trying to get a break in traffic from the other direction and just getting on the road gets chancy. I like to see people with their lights on, it makes me feel much better.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:03 AM
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The times they are a changing, headlights on for safety.

Roll with the changes.

Chuck
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:21 AM
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As long as the driver isn't texting, drunk, shaving, reading, putting on make up, or doing any one of a thousand things drivers do instead of concentrating on not crashing into me, I could care less if his/her lights are on.

When I ride my motorcycle in the day time, the head light is always on (it can't be turned off) but if there is any traffic, I put it on bright. During the daytime, it won't blind an oncoming driver, but it will make me a little more noticeable. I don't do that in my car...but if there are conditions where visibility is reduced, I do.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:28 AM
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My sister had a newer model(~2009 or 2010) Corolla that left the lights on all the time, and more or less required required the owner's manual to turn the lights off!

As I recall, to get the lights to go off, you had to shift into neutral, pull the emergency brake up one click(no more no less), turn the car off and then restart it. The lights would remain off only as long as the emergency brake was pulled up one click.

My brother in law finally talked her into selling the car over that and far too many other quirks.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Ben_hutcherson View Post
My sister had a newer model(~2009 or 2010) Corolla that left the lights on all the time, and more or less required required the owner's manual to turn the lights off!

As I recall, to get the lights to go off, you had to shift into neutral, pull the emergency brake up one click(no more no less), turn the car off and then restart it. The lights would remain off only as long as the emergency brake was pulled up one click.

My brother in law finally talked her into selling the car over that and far too many other quirks.
Your crew hate having the lights on in daylight so much you would sell a car?
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:25 AM
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I drive for my job. It's amazing how sometimes an oncoming
vehicle will merge into the background w/o lights. I became
a believer one day when I almost had a head-on with some
guy on a BMW motorcycle. Used my lights ever since.
JMHO, TACC1.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by JOERM View Post
They say it is safer to drive with headlights on during the day. I wonder about that.
I don't. Safer with lights on, especially with heat shimmer or tree shade. It's simply easier to see a car with it's lights on.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:56 AM
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I don't. Safer with lights on, especially with heat shimmer or tree shade. It's simply easier to see a car with it's lights on.
This for sure.

If someone sees my car coming and doesn't like the lights being on for whatever reason - I don't care. They saw me and their approval couldn't possibly be more meaningless to me.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:19 AM
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I'm more bothered by drivers who don't turn their lights on when visibility is poor (twilight, raining, heavy overcast, etc) than I am by drivers who have their lights on in full daylight. A lot of drivers don't seem to understand that the purpose of headlights is so they can be seen as well as see.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:22 AM
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I think daytime running lights detract from safety. They deprive vehicles that NEED a little extra conspicuity from having it - like motorcycles. If everyone has their lights on, where is the motorcycle? Just as, if everyone ran flashing blue lights and sirens, where is the police car?
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:42 AM
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Why does it matter if those lights are a bike or a car? If you see lights - try and make an effort to not hit them.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:03 AM
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The favorite car/truck colors are silver and white. Tough to see silver in most any light (for me anyway) much less in the fog we get this time of year. I live on a main drag. It's tough to back out of my drive way without help from above. I cross myself and put the truck in reverse. So I guess I like the running lights.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:35 AM
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The lights on my truck ('07 Colorado) come on automatically. I can override the auto feature if I need to, but about the only time I do this is to kill the lights when I park where waiting for them to go off on the timer would be annoying to people.

I'm spoiled now, If I had to deal with a manual light switch again I would probably have a perpetually dead battery.

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Old 03-19-2013, 07:41 AM
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Anything that makes a vehicle more visible is a plus, I have a headlight modulator on my Harley, I know some guys don't like them, but having ridden motorcycles since 1965, after many idiots pulling out in front of me, turning left etc. I want all the visibility I can get. Too many guys i know have been hurt or killed by the car that "didn't see" them..
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Janitor View Post
This for sure.

If someone sees my car coming and doesn't like the lights being on for whatever reason - I don't care. They saw me and their approval couldn't possibly be more meaningless to me.
This reminds me of a comment that was posted in the local paper's Opinion Line section (it tends to be mostly people carping about something), the person was griping about people driving with their headlights on during the day, in ideal conditions, and I thought "well, it worked, didn't it? You noticed the car and apparently managed to avoid it."

It sort of amazes me when people won't use their headlights, such as when it's foggy, hazy or misting, my previous car was painted a silvery grey color and I would turn on my headlights in those conditions because I found that I tended to blend in with the background.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:13 AM
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Default Re: Driving with headlights on during daylight?

My lights come on/off automatically and i love it. When your in the city there are so many lights sometimes you cant tell if yours are on or not but it draws attention to the police.

But in reality its a non issue to me and i definitely would not sell a car over something like that.

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Old 03-19-2013, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by JOERM View Post
They say it is safer to drive with headlights on during the day. I wonder about that. Back when i was a kid in the 50's and 60's the only time you drove with headlights on was on Flag Day...Mon...moral..day. or if a funeral was passing by. If you saw someone with their lights on you'd flash yours to let them know. Now half the cars have tbeir lights on even with the sun shinning brigbt. I know a few guys wbo HATE seeing cars with their lights on during the day. But yet some of those guys or gals drive witb tbeir *COOL' lights on...parking lights that is. I really dont give a coons rump but is it really safer to drive with your lights on when the sun is bright? Maybe for those who cant see good coming at ya!
On bright sunny bluebird days, I can't see that running or cool lights are of any use. The data is simply to limited. During the early morning and late afternoon as well as times of inclement weather, light do serve a useful purpose.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:07 AM
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Well, I for one could care less what anyone might think about my lights on. I want to be seen. There are places the last few years that lights MUST be on, or a fat fine. Long boring roads. Guess that says something.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:08 AM
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One thing about cars equipped with daytime running light's..The tail light's do not come on..I have seen a few people without the automatic feature for their headlights to come on, drive in dark conditions, thinking most likely their tail lights were on...Not so..
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LVSteve View Post
Many cars have daytime running lights that are almost as bright as headlights. Out here in the desert there are or used to be mandatory headlight zones on some highways because of heat haze/mirage. Cars also have better charging systems so running with your lights on is no big deal for the electrical system.

The ones that really frost me are those running with their foglights on at night when there is no fog. Mind you, some of the blame lies with the dumb DoT requirements (or lack thereof) regarding headlights. Folk run the fogs to get some sprad and foreground light while on low beams. Coming from Europe I was appalled at the awful lights on US built cars in the late 90s. No wonder you all ended up needing airbags, nobody could see anything at night.
I had a 1994 Ford Escort. I did not bother restoring the headlights, I replaced them with Ford OEM parts and the brightest road legal 9004 bulbs the parts store had. I still could not see a thing. The same thing was done with my mom's 1996 Suburban with the same results.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:15 AM
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All of our Federal rigs have lights that come on automatically. Standard or modified? I don't know.

Washington State requires headlights be on anytime your wipers are on (intermittent or faster).
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:23 AM
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Many cars have daytime running lights that are almost as bright as headlights. Out here in the desert there are or used to be mandatory headlight zones on some highways because of heat haze/mirage. Cars also have better charging systems so running with your lights on is no big deal for the electrical system.

The ones that really frost me are those running with their foglights on at night when there is no fog. Mind you, some of the blame lies with the dumb DoT requirements (or lack thereof) regarding headlights. Folk run the fogs to get some sprad and foreground light while on low beams. Coming from Europe I was appalled at the awful lights on US built cars in the late 90s. No wonder you all ended up needing airbags, nobody could see anything at night.
Yep, we need some more regulations, for sure, so we can be less appalling. Like Europe.
I drive with my lights on 'cause they come on automatically. In a giant V8 powered full sized Suburban, or an F250 with a bloody great bump gate guard.
If someone has an issue with being able to see me, they'll really have a problem when they don't.
Sheesh.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:26 AM
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Have always driven with my headlights on. Never had a wreck - after driving for 35 years - either.

I think there is a correlation, even though I think I'm a "careful" driver. My advice to everyone waiting at a red light is to look both ways after the light turns green, before you go. That has saved my life twice.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:48 AM
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Not having your lights on is just plain careless. I drive alot for a living and there are always hundreds of idiots a day with out their lights on when they should be. As in dusk tilll dawn, foggy, raining.

In this day and age when most manufactures cars automaticaly turn the lights off when you turn off the ignition or open the drivers door it's just silly not to take that precaution.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:49 AM
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Almost ALL new cars have daytime running lights that can't be turned off - as far as I know.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:44 AM
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Sometimes I will turn on my fog lights along with the headlights if I'm having difficulty seeing at night, whether or not there is fog, rain, or whatever. The fog lights are low on the bumper and DO NOT make it difficult for oncoming drivers, as do the high beams. All I can say is deal with it.

In the State of Ohio it is law that when your wipers are on your headlights are supposed to be on too. My main gripe is that the law is not enforced. I told the Chief, after I had retired, that I would work part time doing nothing but traffic enforcement if they would let me.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:54 AM
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I told the Chief, after I had retired, that I would work part time doing nothing but traffic enforcement if they would let me.
I would happilly pay more taxes for that service.

Missaligned headlights, fast lane cruisers(and their freinds the drive side by siders), left turn lane drivers, slow on ramp mergers, slow drivers, slow exiters, stop light runners, 4-way stop idiots, The list goes on. but I'm tired of typing.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:04 AM
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I see nothing wrong with a little added safety. I rode motorcycles for many years, so im kind of use to having my headlights on.

Here in Louisiana its a law u must have your headlights on "if" your windshield wipers are on (hence its raining). Obviously back in the day we didnt have such a law and it was perfectly fine. But now days people around here cant drive on a dry road. Put them on a wet road and its one hell of a challenge for them. I guess they think that having headlights on at all times will help them look for a better excuse next time they have an accident. 99% of the time their excuse is "I didnt see him/her".

I guess they could always do like my ex gf did one time. She wrecked her car, and she told the officer that she wrecked because the road moved. =-)
Back in my hometown in the wv mountains an abandoned coal mine flooded and just happened to be under a main road and caused a section of the road to slide down the mountain, so the road actually was moving and caused accidents.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:34 AM
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I believe in Canada all the MV's come with headlights on all the time. I had a Dakota pu from Canada and the lights were on all the time.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:41 AM
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Common excuse for crashes: "The other car came out of nowhere!"

That is, of course, impossible. The car came out of SOMEWHERE.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:47 AM
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Note to all those who happily leave their lights turned to automatic - snow, cloudy conditions, mist, rain can all pretty well obscure your car before it is "smart" enough to turn the lights on - why not beat it to the punch? In fact, since we no longer have to learn to properly brake a vehicle(ABS) or steer a vehicle (lane departure warning) or to pay attention to traffic (radar assisted cruise control) or even to check before backing up, heck why don't we just jump in the back seat and let the car do the work?
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:04 PM
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I generally run with the lights on while traveling 2 lane highways so oncoming vehicles can see me if they are trying to pass. I also keep them on if it is raining(state law), snowing or foggy.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:05 PM
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DRLs on mine. At first it seemed rather pointless, but now I don't care. I can't see them when I'm driving anyway. It's everyone else that has to look at them
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:12 PM
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I've worked graveyard for so long I turn on my lights out of habit no matter what time of day.

Last edited by charger73se; 03-19-2013 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:26 PM
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I drove city bus for 27 years, as large a frontal area as a bus is you would be amazed at the number of people that "didn't see it". The company painted one bus for the "Dare" drug project back in the 80's or 90's, all black and pretty. The first day that I drove that in a city route was one of the worst days I could remember. It seemed like I was driving a black hole down the street. I would see people pull up to a stop sign and look right at me, then pull out as if they didn't see me. I would never own a black car after that experience. I put in a recommendation to the safety committee that anyone that drove that bus at least make sure they had their headlights on. Everything I own I drive with the headlights on all the time, why not give yourself every edge possible with the growing number of self-important morons busy talking on the cell phone while driving down the road.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:29 PM
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VA has the wiper law as well. STILL, you see people riding in the rain with them off Idiots. You just would not think a law would be needed for the rain??
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:54 PM
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I'm more bothered by drivers who don't turn their lights on when visibility is poor (twilight, raining, heavy overcast, etc) than I am by drivers who have their lights on in full daylight. A lot of drivers don't seem to understand that the purpose of headlights is so they can be seen as well as see.
I damn near ran into a gray Beemer during a heavy thunderstorm because the [deleted] driving it didn't have his lights on. That car was almost impossible to see.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Kinman View Post
I drove city bus for 27 years, as large a frontal area as a bus is you would be amazed at the number of people that "didn't see it". The company painted one bus for the "Dare" drug project back in the 80's or 90's, all black and pretty. The first day that I drove that in a city route was one of the worst days I could remember. It seemed like I was driving a black hole down the street. I would see people pull up to a stop sign and look right at me, then pull out as if they didn't see me. I would never own a black car after that experience. I put in a recommendation to the safety committee that anyone that drove that bus at least make sure they had their headlights on. Everything I own I drive with the headlights on all the time, why not give yourself every edge possible with the growing number of self-important morons busy talking on the cell phone while driving down the road.
What you experienced there is a little acknowledged effect of the human visual system as a whole. We are hard wired to spot movement, small things to eat and predators that are similar in size to ourselves. Everything else is not that important and gets processed into the background, especially if it is a dark colour with little or no relative motion or there is a general lack of contrast. Even pilots suffer from this. I recall an account given by an RAF pilot that neither he nor his navigator could see the large tanker aircraft they were meeting until it did a quick fuel stream to add movement to the scene. Seeing is not just about your eyes, it is about what you brain does with the information.

Last edited by LVSteve; 03-19-2013 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:34 PM
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My car has auto lights, and DRL's in the day.. The only problem
I have with the DRL's, is the crazing of the headlight plastic pseudo
glass is accelerated. And unless it's an optical illusion, on mine it
seems to be popping up on the inside where I can't polish it out.
Kinda makes sense being that's where the most heat would be..

The auto lights on mine work danged near perfect.. They turn on right
about when I would.. Maybe even slightly earlier.
I might flip em on in the day if it's pouring down , and real dark.
But normally, I never touch the light switch in that thing.
Course, my old truck is still totally manual in the light dept, along
with about everything else..
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:10 PM
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Auto lights on one car makes me forget to turn lights on in the other car.

While lights can help there will also be conditions where the lights on result inn iso-luminescence making the apparent brughtness of your vehicle indistinguishable for the surrounding background.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Janitor View Post
Why does it matter if those lights are a bike or a car? If you see lights - try and make an effort to not hit them.
If you see two lights, they're probably two bikers. Give them a scare by driving between them. :-)
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:26 PM
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My truck has 'auto' for the lights.

At night front and back come on.

Depending on the spectrum of light during the day, the additional running lights will come on.

Nothin' fancy, just a newer Chevy Silverado.

It is actually automatically set on, 'auto' for the lights.

My friend has a Cadillac truck that is newer, that thing has traction control and will automatically deflate or inflate the tires depending on the situation. Whoa!
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:16 PM
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I think daytime running lights detract from safety. They deprive vehicles that NEED a little extra conspicuity from having it - like motorcycles. If everyone has their lights on, where is the motorcycle? Just as, if everyone ran flashing blue lights and sirens, where is the police car?
Using that logic then cars should turn their lights off at night. Motorcycles are impossible to see in the rear view in traffic at night. Their light just disappears in the sea of lights.

If you're riding a bike and actually count on other drivers seeing you anyway I'll have the wife put you on her prayer list.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:49 AM
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i haven't manually turned lights on in a vehicle since 1999. all my vehicles have autolights. i do run my driving lights(some call them fog lights) constantly at night in addition to my low beams. the only time i ever turn on my high beams is when i get a new vehicle and i see if i like them better than the low/driving combo.

on my old s-10 i had 4 piaa 004x driving lamps that came on with my low beams. it was dang bright...i liked it...
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:20 PM
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i haven't manually turned lights on in a vehicle since 1999. all my vehicles have autolights. i do run my driving lights(some call them fog lights) constantly at night in addition to my low beams. the only time i ever turn on my high beams is when i get a new vehicle and i see if i like them better than the low/driving combo.

on my old s-10 i had 4 piaa 004x driving lamps that came on with my low beams. it was dang bright...i liked it...
Why the aversion to using high beams? I had never come across this until moving to the US 15 years ago. It still baffles me. Is it seen as too much trouble to turn them off for oncoming traffic?
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