Always On High Beams

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High beams used to be usually off. You turned them on if you needed them – which wasn’t usually.

That’s about to be turned on its head if a new “safety” proposal (yes, another one) under consideration by the National Highway Safety Administration becomes the latest safety fatwa. High beams will be default on, all the time. They’ll dim only when sensors detect an oncoming car.

Assuming the sensors detect the oncoming car. Which assumes the sensors will always work.

NHTSA says always on – or mostly on – high beams have “… the potential to reduce the risk of crashes by increasing visibility without increasing glare.”

Except high beams are glare personified.

That’s why they’re usually turned off. And now the government wants to pass a fatwa that they be set for default on . . . “without increasing glare.”

Come again?

This is the sort of thing government bureaucrats excel at. It’s also a logical – by government standards – evolution of the already-fatwa’d always-on low beams (Daytime Running Lights) we’ve had since the ’90s, which were also supposed to “increase visibility” but instead created constant daytime glare where it had previously been at most an occasional nuisance and also made motorcycles – which used to be the only vehicles (other than cars in a funeral procession) which regularly had their lights on during the daytime – much less visible in daylight.

Bikes now often run with flashing headlights – so as to be noticed among the sea of government-fatwa’d DRL-equipped cars. School busses have strobe lights. Cop cars look like Christmas trees. Funeral processions need cop cars that look like Christmas trees because they’re otherwise invisible.

And now – assuming this latest proposed fatwa is flung at us – new cars will burn their headlights at maximum intensity most of the time… but this won’t “increase glare.” And the income tax will only affect the rich . . . Obamacare will reduce your insurance costs . . .  Social Security will always be there . . . and just over the next hill is the Big Rock Candy Mountain.

Let’s speculate that always-on high breams are on for just 5 percent longer than they would otherwise have been on had it been up to the driver to decide when it was time to turn them on.

That’s a 5 percent increase in glare – and  it doesn’t take Stephen Hawking to realize that the increase in glare will necessarily be higher than 5 percent. Think of reaction times. Not yours. The automated/always on high beams’ reaction times. It takes a moment to turn them off. A moment longer than if they weren’t on in the first place. And in the meanwhile… Glare. How long does it take your eyes to adjust to a bright light flashed in your face and then turned off?

Add all those moments up and you have some measure of the increased glare the government has in store for us.

Then think about the distraction effect created by dozens, hundreds and thousands of headlights flashing high-low and back again – and not in sync. Picture it. Think of the light show in your rearview mirror.

It will be just like Christmas… only all year ’round.

And is it really necessary to take more control away from the driver? This latter issue is arguably the big gun that should be leveled at this pushy, ill-advised and entirely not-necessary proposal.

A human driver can exercise discretion, use judgment. Anything automated and controlled by a computer responds to programming.  The difference is important. Road and traffic conditions are almost infinitely variable. Computer programming is not. An automated whatever-it-is can be set up to deal with “X” number of possibilities.

What if a situation arises that the programmers didn’t anticipate?

You get an inappropriate response.

And now the driver has to countermand with the appropriate response – and deal with an annoying,unnecessary distraction. Examples of this already abound – with already-in-cars automated systems which pre-empt the driver’s discretion and then nag him for good measure.

You have probably heard of automated emergency braking. The problem – which I can personally vouch for as a guy who test drives new cars equipped with this system – is that it sometimes brakes when there isn’t an emergency and scolds the driver with flashing lights and buzzers, which distract his attention from driving.

Because it’s programmed to do so.

Because it cannot tell the difference between a car stopped ahead because traffic has stopped up ahead and a car that has temporarily stopped because it is about to turn off the road and so will not be on the road – and in your path – by the time you get there.

A human driver can judge the difference easily and respond accordingly. No need to stomp the brakes – and so, he doesn’t. Automated emergency braking cannot discern the difference. So it brakes, even though there’s no need to.

Sigh…

And how hard is it, really, to pull back on the stalk and turn the high beams on if you want them on? It is less annoying, certainly, than having to countermand programming which insolently decides for you whether the high beams – or low beams – ought to be on.

Moreover, a paying-attention-to-driving driver does not need his headlights to be automated. These automated systems encourage drivers to not pay attention to driving. In this case, when the sensors stop working and the high beams no longer dim, the dim-bulb driver just continues driving with his brights on, having been absolved of responsibility to handle this tiny but important responsibility himself.

Cutting to the chase, the real problem is that federal regulatory apparats such as NHTSA (and EPA and many others) haven’t got much to do anymore but need to find things to do to justify their expropriation-dependent existences, so they find make-work things to do.

And then make us pay for the work – in money and hassle.

What they really need is gainful employment, their hands out of our pockets – and their noses out of our business.

. . .

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65 COMMENTS

  1. NHTSA needs re-branding as No Human Thinks Sanity’s Anywhere. Or maybe National Hog-Tied Spectators Anonymous. Because they obviously can’t create any sane thoughts when they keep monkeying around with the way vehicles are supposed to operate.

    At this point, I’m almost in favor of complete abolition of ANY government entity that has the word “Safety” screwed somewhere within its acronym. Because their version of saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety is based entirely upon the lowest denominator, and thus designed for the least able among us all.

    In a sane world, a person who can’t determine how to operate the high-beam actuator would not be operating any motor vehicle. Even a Level 5 self-driving one. Granted, that’s MY version of a sane world. I’m not so sure about THEIR version.

    Unfortunately, stupidity multiplies within a place that requires a moron to justify his/her job by creating dangerous rules. It’s funny (in a George Carlin sense) how those promoting safety would create a rule fraught with such danger.

    • You can also be ticketed if you drive off the road because you can’t see it.
      If you live in a place where the LEOs are that clueless, you have nobody to blame but yourself for remaining there.
      My heroes never violate the Constitution that they took an oath to protect and defend.

      • Dammit Vonu,you’re one of a kind. Most of us WANT to live in Nirvana, we haven’t found it yet…..and yet you seeen to know exactly where it’s located although you seem to want to keep it a secret……so if I gave you some money…………

        • Nirvana can’t be lived in because it is non-existence.
          Things that don’t exist can’t be kept secret.
          Nirvana and legend are two of the many word that most who use them fail to know their true meaning.
          Why would you want to be more than one of a kind that doesn’t know what they know?

  2. Everyone stop. Catch your breath for a moment.

    The comments link others have posted here makes clear that the proposal is to [i]allow, not require,[/i] adaptive lighting systems. Current US law prohibits them as they are today used in Europe. It appears that some automakers have petitioned the NHTSA to change this. I don’t have a big problem with [i]allowing[/i] them, but do have a big problem with [i]requiring[/i] them.

    To play devil’s advocate, potentially these systems could help with the growing problem of idiots running with their high beams on all the time in traffic. Presumably they will eventually switch to newer cars that might have the feature. Usually running with brights on is to hide a burned-out low beam or the driver’s impairment from age or intoxication. The cops seldom seem to catch these drivers, and I would call blinding other drivers reckless driving.

    Everyone should be careful about misreading and spreading untruths. A while back I saw a lot of horrified panic here about an EPA [i]proposal, not[/i] a mandate, to let states allow sales of E15 (gasoline with 15% ethanol). The comments here then would have had readers believe that the EPA was going to mandate E15 to replace E10 (10% ethanol) nationwide, despite the damage E15 could cause to some engines. That wasn’t true. A careful reading of that proposal made it clear that no such mandate was part of it.

    We have a real problem with fake news in addition to all the runaway regulation and legislation targeting the automobile. Let’s deal with truths. Exaggerations and untruths discredit conservatives and libertarians as much as the same things do people on the Left. We justifiably call out the Left on its falsehoods; don’t play their game. Unfortunately, I see lots of fake news posts from the Right as well as the Left on Fakebook. Enough bad is going on in the automotive world that we shouldn’t be wasting effort on “stories” that are easily debunked.

      • Hi Vonu,

        That’s coming – the personal mandate to buy a car. It will not be de jure… but it might as well be. What will happen – is already happening – is the elimination of older cars, then their outlawing. First, only in a few areas. Then more. Until your older car can’t be driven (legally) any longer. Then what are you – what are we – going to do?

        It’s time to ride share or walk or buy a new/automated/electric car. Or rather, sign up for endless revolving debt.

        • Eric, hopefully rural areas will be the last to have old vehicles outlawed
          You may have to do something agriculturally to avoid the walk to town
          Hell, it’s 25 miles to the nearest grocery store for me. It’s gonna be tough hauling 5 gallon jugs of RO water on my bike.

          How will big boy stores survive?
          I predict when the only people who can own cars, hauling freight will be expensive. By freight I mean all the heavy stuff and bulky stuff will command a premium.

          That reminds me, I need more ammo. I recently posed the question of how much ammo is enough. Nobody seemed to be able to answer it but I still hear the gears whirring.

          Everybody has their own ideas of what to stock for the future….precious metals, cash, some like Daisy Luther have a long list of supplies.

          Now I like Daisy’s lists. She rightly pointed out cash and gold won’t get you far when the stores are empty. I’m counting on trading ammo for the use of a big rig.

          Then again, the independent who hauls fuel or food is probably going to trade same for ammo.

          The world is collectively going crazy and some of the most radical are starving. I believe TPTB are the force behind it all. There are luxury bunkers being built everywhere, not only in this country but worldwide. As the old song goes, You Ain’t Seen Nothin Yet.

          • How much ammo is enough? enough to see you through whatever crisis but not so much that one is hoarding and that’s what happened a couple years ago. The scarcity of such ammo as .22ca made it almost impossible to buy because some people(cretins) were buying up all they could.
            And then selling it on EPay. Fvck ’em. Hope they have to eat it.
            Ammo won’t get you too far if living in an urban or suburban area and you run out of food. Especially with roving gangs.
            If you don’t have emergency food supplies, you may be in for a long tough ride.

            • The EPA causing lead mines to be closed had a great deal to do with the. 22 rim fire scarcity. The fedguv bought vast amounts of ammo during Obama’s reign to make ammo scarce and drive the price up not to mention the wailing and teeth gnashing and threats of all types of gun control.

              Someone remarked Obama was the best thing to happen to gun sales.

                • Several agencies in the US work to disarm we the people .

                  Bans on foreign ammo is one way and Trump has made it worse with his idiotic ideas and policies.

                  I can hardly be accused of hoarding since I used to buy most calibers by the case back when a case was 2,000 rounds.

                  I’ve been known to carry around a thousand rounds of clean brass and a Lee handprimer so I could crank out primed cases when work was slow.

                  I recall the day when nobody thought anything about it.

                  The ammo is sitting there on retailers shelves for all to buy. To think others can’t get enough ammo is laughable.

                  I’ve found most people, as in 99.
                  999%, who complain about the lack of ammo are really complaining about the price. And if that were really the case, so to speak, they might have a point. But the truth of the situation is they value throwing their money away on hot wings and beer watch the game or buying all sorts of shit they’d be better off without. It boils down to priorities for most.

                  They could buy plenty ammo by avoiding all that food advertised while watching the game…..and spending most of a paycheck on a new tat.

                  Then there’s this other mentality of simply being cheap.

                  Since I was known to have scads of guns of all sorts, my boss, who made twice as much money as I did which was true of his wife, asked me to recommend a good, cheap handgun. A coworker got a big shit eating grin and tried to stifle a laugh since he knew what was coming. I asked him to put a price on his and his wife’s lives. He looked confused. I said You’re either willing to spend the money to ensure that gun goes bang every time you pull the trigger or you’d rather bet a cheap gun will work…..cheaply. He didn’t mention it again. This was back in the 80s when guns were more expensive than now since demand breeds better product along with cheaper prices.

                  He showed up a week later with a Dan Wesson wheel gun at a point in time that autos were already in the lead in reliability.

                  I guess he didn’t put much value on his or his wife’s life. They did eat out a lot.

                  Back in the 70s I had a Blackhawk with a 10 and 5/8″ barrel. Seems like every time I wanted it, it couldn’t be found. ..till we realized every place this big tomcat slept was where that gun had been left. We had a running joke after that being that happiness really was a warm gun…bang bang shoot shoot.

  3. So, lemme see. It’s going to get fun when you see a car that won’t dim the headlights from behind. Its going to get real fun.

    • The bright headlights from behind you issue is resolved by proper mirror adjustment. Set your rear view mirror a bit high so that you have to straighten or extend your spine a bit in order to use it. You might have an illuminated forehead, but at least the light isn’t in your eyes. Adjust your side mirrors outward a bit so that you have to lean back slightly from your normal sitting position in order to use them. Your ears are not bothered by the light.

      • Brian, have you noticed light trucks and Suvs have lights pointed extremely high?

        They just eat you up on 2 lane roads since so many people who drive now don’t seem to know about the dimmer switch.

        They’re not as bad when driving a pickup compared to a big rig.

  4. Not only do “always-on” high beams create a potential safety hazard, but they would also cause the headlamp bulbs to burn out prematurely.

    Wait a minute, you don’t suppose…

  5. What happens when they F’d up everything else and turn their attention to a new found problem to fix. Like the California legislature making 900 new laws per year. Auto high beams ought to work just fine, for that soccer mom with the maladjusted 100 million watt on-low laser projector beam new car she is driving. While texting the kids to get dinner out of the fridge and finger painting the dash looking for her favorite SiriusXM station.

  6. If you go back far enough, when roads were darker and traffic was thinner, high beam was the default. When I learned to drive, the lights were controlled by a button on the floor called the “dimmer switch.”

    • I wish I could remember those days.. Well, maybe not. For as long as I have been driving (since 1980 but really after about 86 or so), the roads have been way too crowded to default to high beams only. I drive mostly with the lows.

    • I was taught that highs should be default at night for visibility purposes, and to dim for approaching traffic or when behind others. Wasn’t much street lighting then, or today, in NH.

  7. Regarding always-on high beams… In Europe, Renault (at least that is the brand I saw and I own) has low-power LED DRL’s which are unusually really good – on the highway there is no glare (they are hidden in the bumper of my Captur, so they sit quite low to the ground and I haven’t had any problems with other Renault Captur or other models), and they have always-on high-beams which actually work. On the backroads of France this summer I encountered late at night a significant number of Renault Megane’s, all of which had that option. I could actually see their head lights dipping in intensity at the exact moment I arrived in their visual range (and take note, the french really don’t care that they blind you at night) and in the mirror saw that the moment my car passed the A-pillar of the one coming towards me, the high-beams were activated again. I talked to my mechanic, and some Renault owners I know, and they all said that Renault implemented this system the best out of all European manufacturers. Too bad they don’t sell in the USA. They would make a killing there.

  8. I never use my high-beams. The problem for me is that if you become accustomed to having all that light, then when you have to switch to low-beam because of oncoming traffic, the reduction in visibility is detrimental. I also like to preserve what little night vision there is while driving at night by staying on lows and maybe slowing down a bit, not “overdriving” my headlights. I would think that should be NHTSA’s default position because modern headlights are so much brighter that they used to be.

  9. This is nothing new. My maternal grandfather’s Cadillac had a headlight dimmer sensor on the top of the dashboard. The gas cap in the rear taillight was more interesting to a pre-teenaged Aspie.

  10. This HAS to be the work of a Libtard bureaucrat with too much time on their hands.

    Had they done any research on the broader issues, they would have found that, as we add more and more distractions to any environment, the average person can only track so many points of potential interest and starts tuning some of these out. I could understand the use of running/parking lights, particularly for all those people driving gray-colored vehicle (to match their personal level of depression), some vehicles blend into their surroundings too well. Change the surroundings and that condition easily changes.

    The last thing I need is to be going down a road heading right toward the sun, and having someone coming right over the top of a hill with the sun right behind them …………….. while they are mandated to keep their hi-beams on. Many people are coming “unglued” in this current global turmoil, but rather than address THAT fact, we have to now blame the car. It reminds me of the logic over gun-control; blame the gun instead of address why so many people in our society are coming unglued, particularly those on the Left; those with a more “fragile” sense of moral and ethical values.

    That government which governs least, governs best, despite how many people need to live within the Nanny-State because of their feelings of personal insecurity.

    • Agreed, BR…

      Back in the Pleistocene – when I worked in DC at The Washington Times – I knew Sam Francis. Some will recognize the name. Sam had this idea he called “anarcho-tyranny”… what he meant was that on the one hand, society becomes more and more tyrannical regarding the petty micromanagement of ordinary people while at the same refusing to deal with and even actively encouraging serious criminality.

      I miss Sam. He was a mean son of a bitch but he was smarter than a sack full of Barack Obamas.

  11. I worked from home for the last 8 years and seldom drove anywhere in the dark, and almost never during the morning rush hour. Recently I took a job where I commute about 30 miles/45 minutes before daylight on a mix of surface streets and divided highway. From day one I noticed how much brighter headlights are and how many drivers seemed to be leaving their high beams on all the time. This is on city streets where there are street lights and no need for them and on the highway where you’re running 5 car lengths, at the most, behind someone else and they make no difference in how far you can see.

    I guess this explains it assuming some manufacturers have already adopted the coming edict.

    I grew up in a rural area with lightly traveled two lane highways through rolling hills. High beams were important as deer were common, but when you saw the lights of an oncoming car over the next hill or around the corner you dimmed yours before you ever saw the car or the lights themselves. That will be some pretty fancy technology that can do that.

    • Exactly. That dim glow tells a civilized person to dim. The automatic systems react far too late. Of course these days civilized people are few and far between.

    • The worst are the big rigs running LED headlights. I was driving on a very busy 2 lane highway at night on a long trip last year and every rig was blinding me as they passed. I was in my Escape, so their headlights were exactly at eye level from my perspective.

      It made me miss the days when incandescent headlights were all the rage.

  12. Key to the High Beam issue: “Cutting to the chase, the real problem is that federal regulatory apparats such as NHTSA (and EPA and many others) haven’t got much to do anymore but need to find things to do to justify their expropriation-dependent existences, so they find make-work things to do.
    And then make us pay for the work – in money and hassle.”
    MAKE US PAY !
    There is no soft landing for the Feral Reserve Ponzi Scheme in which we live. The only thing left is to seek to monetize anything. Money out of nothing, certainly not productivity.
    This state of affairs comes from those who we have allowed to run our financial and political system. They only know Usury and Sex, and we are getting screwed on both accounts.

  13. What’s more idiotic than a 40′ long, 10′ tall yellow school bus that moroncrats think need a strobe light in addition to be seen?

    What’s more idiotic than high beams during a snow snowstorm, which is a couple dozen times a year here?

    My tombstone (actually I’ll be cremated) will say: I told you so. Technology past a certain point is innately tyrannical, because people lack the brains and will to resist baubles. If you build it, the lemmings will come.

    • I just went to the site and it’s as inert as a cinder block. Email doesn’t work, no icons respond, etc. Great. In the age of Digital Oz, when communication is supposed to be so effortless and easy, I can’t get a damned message across.

      • Ross, it’s gummint….and they can’t do shit correctly. Seriously, I’d bet bureaucrats shit cubes or pancakes.

        I lost my CDL earlier this year because they’re damned websites don’t work.

        The tx.guv site was down so long my renewed DOT physical for interstate driving never got posted.

        Instead of telling me I could no longer drive interstate they rescinded my license which was grandfathered in, meaning I didn’t need a physical card for intrastate ddriving……but being the incompetent boobs they are, they cancelled that license too.

        You’d never believe how long it took and how much it cost me to get it straightened out. Then, when I’m about to get through with the process they found an outstanding CSA fine from years earlier with an employer from 3 years ago for no inspection card some idiot had removed from the truck I was driving.

        The day that happened I had to drive to a yard where I left the truck since the DOT impounded it since the company owed a DOT fine. Always fun to try to get home like that…..and especially in an thunderstorm full of large hail and tornadoes. Yep, a mighty lucky day for me that, unknown to me was going to bite me in the àss again and cost more money years later

        Yes sir, nothing like a gummint website or gummint anything to complicate situations and cost the taxpayers More money. Thanks tx.guv

          • Thanks Ross I got on a board for the recent Powerball lottery
            It was the first money I’ve spent on the lotto in years.
            Shouda bought Ammo.

    • I submitted my comment. I now await for a visit from the KGB for questioning and possibly enhanced interrogation.
      My name is now on the terrorist watch list.
      I further expect to….wait a minute, someone’s pounding on my front door! There’s an AMRAP outside and a SWAT team! WTF!

      • Yeah, you’re correct. They break in your door, shoot the dog, toss a stun grenade into the baby’s crib and then hold the entire family hostage for 9 hours . on the floor, while the heroes ransack and ruin the house.
        Leaving you to pay for it…..that is if you’re still alive.

  14. It’s bad enough with the headlamp regs -designed- to cause glare. The idiots who already run their highbeams all the damn time, the idiotic high beam DRLs, but now this? I am sensitive to glare probably because I have what I think is good night vision. Do they want me to crash because I can’t see for all the damn glare? And what about in fog or rain when high beams are absolute idiocy due to backscatter and glare?

    • Brent I feel your pain, literally. I’ve always had sensitive eyes and could see fine in the dark till just the last couple years.

      GM came out with DRLS about 20 years ago on pickups and finally toned toned them down after 2 years of complaints from the driving public. A bright light is obviously too bright when they blind people in Texas sunlight, some mighty blinding light itself.

      A couple years ago signs began to go up on Texas roads that were so reflective early and late sun would blind you from behind with those signs

      Since running in the dark is a daily thing for me, more bright lights will ensure more accidents

  15. Instead of this ridiculous proposal, NHTSA could actually increase safety by requiring amber rear turn signals, instead of allowing either red or amber. Red signals are hard to quickly distinguish from brake lights, especially in traffic and/or poor visibility conditions.

  16. Didn’t there used to be something called the Autronic Eye that used to be offered on Cadillacs during the 1950s? It was a very crude, vacuum tube operated system for automatically dimming your headlights that went haywire every time you drove under a street light if not properly adjusted. If I recall, it fell out of favor by the 1960s, even though I recall seeing it on Cadillacs into the 80s as GuideMatic.

    PS: What really scares me is that we may very well be past the point of France in 1788, Russia in 1916, Cuba in 1958, and Iran in 1978…and you know how those stories ended!

    • I remember those. One of my aunts and uncle always bought Caddys. They had those mounted on the dash.
      He had plenty of money…..some sort of executive for Canteen.

  17. Agree Eric, very silly and dangerous for sure.
    I will say this however, my new 300 has auto-highbeams, but it is only on when you chose highbeams. Then it turns on-off when it senses an oncoming car or ‘sees’ tail lights. It works amazingly well. I rarely turn them on however because in a suburban-metro area where I live, it cycles almost every 10 seconds.
    I do miss the old left foot highbeam switch.

  18. I wonder if the idiots at the NHTSA thought about the nights that had moderate to heavy fog and those winter nights that it was snowing. Automatic high beams in those conditions would cause the driver to see a hell of a lot less and cause more accidents. I guess those government busybodies intend to create more problems to only come up with more “solutions” to justify their jobs.

  19. I thought this article was going to be about drivers who leave their highbeams on all the time once it gets dark. It seems almost everyone where I commute turns them on and leaves them that way, regardless of driving conditions or oncoming traffic. I guess by comparison lights flashing from hi-to-lo are more distracting than constant glare, but it’ll allll be worth it when I get to Big Rock Candy Mountain!!! yay!!

  20. This is just one more idiotic non-solution from government morons. This is an endless barrage of blaming the car or the motorcycle , etc. for piss-poor driving habits and flat out operator irresponsibility. I have actually heard people say stupid crap like “Didn’t you see me pull out?” after causing a collision by darting into coming traffic that can’t possibly avoid them. On the other hand, I watch hundreds of cars go by my shop every day not even using their lights at all during low-visibility daytime driving such as heavy fog or a torrential downpour. You know why? Most of the vehicles already have automatic headlights, which have sensors that don’t “see” 50% of the driving hazards that exist! Automated “convenience” crap on cars has just made lazy irresponsible automobile operation more commonplace. Bottom line – There IS NO substitute for responsible driving habits and skilled driving. Automation is NOT doing the job, and IS a major part of the problem. What is needed is ALWAYS-ON drivers, and you already know how well that prospect is working out! It’s just like Eric said in his video rant yesterday, most “accidents” are avoidable “incidents” and need to be acknowledged as such, stop blaming the inanimate objects for bad driving.

  21. Interesting article over at Ars Technica about the cost to repair all the automation:

    https://arstechnica.com/cars/2018/10/why-driver-assist-tech-can-lead-to-the-5000-fender-bender/

    Just make another little incision. It won’t bleed much! Why, it’s barely a paper cut! This proposal smells like a bunch of bureaucrats looking for something to do.

    Interesting that back in the day, Edwin Land proposed putting his newly invented polarized film over headlights and windshields to eliminate glare from oncoming headlights. Of course the idea was considered ridiculously unachievable at the time.

    https://www.polarization.com/land/land.html

    • Hi RK,

      I like that late-model cars have powerful headlights; I don’t like that many of these are plastic “assemblies” unique to a particular make/model/year of car and so often hugely expensive relative to general-fit sealed beam lights. In some cases, a single “assembly” can cost $500 or more. I like to be able to see well at night…. but that’s too rich for my blood. And for most people’s blood. People are in hock up to their eyebrows because of all this stuff-they-can’t-afford.

      The mentality of the average American has really changed. Most people used to be thrifty and tried to live within their means – if not below their means (in order to accumulate savings). But ready debt and a right-now/gotta-have-it mindset has completely changed that. By any sane economic metric, most people have no business buying a car that costs $35,000 – and yet, that is what the average buyer pays for a new car.

      I know people who don’t make $40,000 annually – and who have a big mortgage – who are driving brand-new $50,000 trucks.

      • Too much credit, doing too little.

        https://www.mauldineconomics.com/frontlinethoughts/debt-alarm-ringing#addicted

        From TFA:
        Lacy Hunt tracks Bank for International Settlements data that shows debt is losing its ability to stimulate growth. In 2017, one dollar of non-financial debt generated only 40 cents of GDP in the US and even less elsewhere. This is down from (if memory serves) more than four dollars of growth for each dollar of debt 50 years ago.

        Sure sign of being an addict is that you no longer take your drug of choice to get a rush, you need it to get through the day. Credit has become an economic drug and when it won’t even get us through the day the addicts are going to be looking for a methadone clinic.

  22. The elites keep tightening the screws building the police state. A few nutjobs will go postal and the 1% will use these events to tighten the noose some more.

    The ruling class will use recessions to call for more bailouts and welfare to make Americans weak and dependent. The elites will then use their control of the media to spread propaganda that the economy is booming. The 1% will keep using this plan until the Ponzi economy implodes.

    After the economy collapses, cash will be worthless, ATM cards won’t work, bank accounts will be zeroed out, there will be inflation, deflation, banks will shut, bankruptcies and foreclosures will rise, businesses will close, unemployment will soar, there will be bail-ins, capital controls, negative interest rates, bank runs, bank holidays, gold may be outlawed, riots will break out, martial law will be declared, concentration camps will be opened, a civil war will start, and the ruling powers will try to start WWIII with China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran to distract the population.

    The future is certain. The only question is when.

    • I would be happy if it was the elites, then we’d have specific people to blame for all this and the problem could be taken care of in the Stalin tradition. No, the truth is much more depressing. This is all happening through perverse incentives in the “system”. Bureaucrats are rewarded for writing regulations, not preserving freedom. The average person screams for more handouts from government, the average wealthy idiot, at least where I live, supports more taxes to “help” others, without realizing that they’re used to wage war or jail potheads.

      Our system of bureaucracies has transcended its origins, and now the bureaucracies run our lives – the voting, the politicians, matter a lot less than the institutions which have taken on a life of their own.

      I disagree with your certain future. I see more of an increasing economic malaise as the bureaucracies stifle the economy, most people’s general quality of life will decrease, until the parasitic bureaucracies are too big to be sustained by their host organism, and it all ends in bankruptcy and breakup, like the Soviet Union.

    • The bright LED lights turned on in overcast/rainy weather can be blinding. This idea is even worse. Since we don’t drive at night, it will only matter in daylight if left on all the time. Hopefully they will dim like they say. Many are fed up with high cost of cars and buying used from a new car dealer, some I know (retired) are getting down to one car. This will mean more expenses when these lights burn out faster. Gov. wants everyone on bicyles or scooters. I prefer a golf cart to run errands ( room to haul stuff) but they are not street legal. Libertarian: agree, the elites are turning this country (like Europe today) into a third world dump. I know people driving cars over ten years old because of high payments on new cars.

      • Laura, you should try being tired and trying to hustle 40 tons of big rig in the dark and there are various types of blinding, oncoming lights along with all the damned rigs that have various and too bright strobes, often tractor and trailer plus strobing brake and running lights.

        Many trailers have super bright white strobes on top as do some tractors.

        Combine this with road signs that are too reflective, especially at sunrise and sunset. They can blind you from the front and from your mirrors.

        In desperation to understand the headlight phenomena I finally found a company that sells headlights and does tests for various alternate lights per application. Wish I could remember their name but they address the plethora of headlights and reflectors and how often they don’t do what is needed in stock factory applications. You could probably do a search for a headlight company and find their YouTube videos and their online retail store.

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