Latest Reader Qs (6/16/2017)

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Here are the latest reader Qs – and my answers

David writes:

Hi Eric, love your articles! 

Could you put a blurb in one of your future articles about these morons who drive in the rain with their emergency flashers on? I know it’s illegal in a handful of states (not in my state of Texas), but legal or not, it’s just plain stupid! Emergency flashers are supposed to be for just that: emergencies.  And sorry, rain does not constitute an “emergency.” What are they trying to do, tell all the other drivers:  “Hey everybody, it’s raining!!”

It’s irritating as hell because now, in addition to the loss of visibility due to the rain, I’m blinded by a sea of blinking lights all around me! Turn signals become worthless. And are those blinking lights ahead of me a moving vehicle, or someone pulled over to the side of the road?  Heck if I know.

The correct procedure for driving in the rain should be: headlights on, low beam, slow down, drive extra careful.

My Answer:

I feel your pain, David.

This business is yet another manifestation of the Safety Cult. It is now worse than mere kowtowing (when cops are around) to imbecilic laws and regulations. People themselves are now rabid to prove to the world just how “safety conscious” they are. The use of emergency flashers in non-emergencies being a case in point. Another being that these same people – if you merely pass them as the crawl along at 20 MPH below the under-posted limit (because it’s raining!) – will lay on their horns and flash their high beams at you.

This country could never land a man on the Moon again. 

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  1. The H.E. Bailey turnpike in Ok. is rampant with this crap. 9 years ago I was going through Ok. and just past OKC it was raining. For whatever reason, the road was filled with Beemers driven by young people. As soon as rain would begin(the POS turnpike has no crown so it fills with water when a cow pisses out the back of a trailer and being finished with no grooves, it’s a slick bitch)these people would slam on their brakes and put on their flashers simultaneously. I suppose it helped me not run over them since I was moving as fast as they were in a one ton diesel pulling a big-ass bumper pull trailer but all the flashing when it was dark led to wrecks I have no doubt since I was nearly in several as the rain started and stopped and I had to endure this crap on the return trip too. Ok has storms that create night in mid-day even worse than Tx.

    While your eyes are adjusting from bright light to dark all those flashing lights just add to the confusion. Of course these days the LE’s are as guilty of blinding people at night since they’ll literally have a half dozen flashing, blinking, blinding cars for a one car stop.

    Truckers have often been driving a dozen hours or more when it becomes dark and all that flash is a bitch for screwing up night vision. Seriously, think about it. Do you want to screw up that drivers vision back behind you and take your foot off the accelerator or just stop the cruise control and slow down without touching the brake pedal? This is common for the flasher crowd who don’t even watch their sixes.

    Another old timer and I were discussing people in 4 wheelers not using their rear view mirrors they way they should. This old hand took the words right out of my mouth when he said “Hell, I look in my mirrors a lot more than I do through the windshield.” Exactly, I can rescan in front every few seconds but what’s happening behind you is often more important and dangerous than what’s going on in front.

    Also, when something happens and traffic slows drastically or comes to a stop, esp. on an interstate, turn your damn flashers off when a truck is behind you. I turn my flashers off as soon as I see another rig about to stop behind me. I can tell you form being run over from behind 3 years ago it’s only the last truck in line that needs to have flashers going and that’s not a help when another driver is playing with his phone. I rue the day cell phones became common-place. I’ll admit a phone is a good safety, time saving device if used correctly, the very reason I used speakerphone back when bag phones were the only choice. Once you had a screen to view, it was all downhill. Now we see drivers using cell phones being more dangerous than people who are actually drunk enough to be a hazard. Sorry for the phone rant. I sometimes feel the need to slay the sacred cow.

    • Add to that the cop with someone pulled over. With the annoying flashing LED light bar. Totally dazzles me at night and impossible to see anything but the enforcer’s vehicle. The local PD has a light bar (with bright orange strip in addition to the red and blues), side LEDs, behind the grill, in the back bumpers and behind the normal light lenses. Looks like the mother ship in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

      • Texas DPS are moving to total inside the car lights which aren’t nearly as blinding but the locals still use every damned whizzbang thing they can screw on one. The bright white strobes are the real bitch.

        • My favorite is the nighttime construction/repaving sites on the opposite side of the road that have a bazillion candlepower of white light blasting you in the face as you go past. Can’t see squat for awhile after that, just have to pray nothing’s on the road in front of me.

          • Yep Mike, and getting older doesn’t help in the time it takes to readjust. Then there’s signs like Tx.DOT uses to let you know important stuff like how many people have been killed in construction zones even though they don’t give you a timeline. Well, it sure gives clovers some fuel for non-thought. “Hey Madge, did you see that sign that says 26,000 people have been killed in construction zones?” “No Helen, is it just that one zone…..this year?”

            And I’m all for no Texting signs but not in bright lights at night. Sir, was your wreck due to texting? No, it was all the damn fool lights that blinded me.

            Strobe lights have become common on big rig trailers these days and while I’m all for it in the day, the really bright white ones suck when you’re behind them in the dark.

      • Not to mention 30,000 flashing lights in all the windows. As if you can’t see the great big bright lights up high. School buses have all those lights too. People have trouble seeing a safety yellow vehicle that is 8 times bigger than their own vehicle, so the more flashing lights you put on the more the greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeatt big yellow bus will be seen by the idiots on the mobiles.


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