Monday, December 28, 2009

Bright light, bright light!

Now, I'm a person that actually enjoys driving at night. During the day is also nice, but at night there are fewer people on the road and you're more relaxed about traffic. However, the sad disadvantage of driving at night on a highway is that there isn't a heck lot of lighting along the way, except the one provided by cars and the occasional street lights when you pass by an exit.

Now, I don't know about other people, but my eyes do tend to be a bit photosensitive in low light conditions... you know, the whole pupil dilating a bit so the eye can absorb as much light as it can, so you can... you know, see. Rapid or bright flashes of light in this sort of environment tend to be a bit chaotic on the whole mechanism.

I was returning to Lisbon last night, after visiting my girlfriend and her family. As I was normally driving by, I came up to a car and normally overtook it (is that the term? Not really sure). A few seconds in, I regretted it as the car, that was now behind me, had its headlights set on max. For a second, I thought that the guy was somehow pissed that I decided to overtake him, but truth is it kept on going, even after I left him far behind.

A bit further ahead, I found other cars doing the same. And along the way, some cars overtook me while their bright halon lights had their fun burning right into my retina.

After looking closer to the cars, I realized that their trunks were actually quite loaded and there were a lot of people inside. So what was happening was that they loaded up the cars and forgot to compensate the headlight level due to the extra weight. In normal conditions, the headlights would be fine... in these conditions, with such a heavy rear, the headlights were shooting up into the moon... and my eyes.

People really fail to realize small stuff like this. And, most importantly, they fail to realize the kind of impact this stuff can have on other drivers. For more than once I had to hide my face from the reflection in the mirrors so I wouldn't go blind, the irony being that I was now blind to what was going on behind my car.

So... people, PLEASE check your headlight level if you happen to have a heavy rear (no pun intended) so that you save us from having a mid-highway laser eye surgery. Also, please check if your headlights aren't set to max, because there was this one guy that actually had it on max and failed to realize it, even after several people flashed at him.

I'll see you around! ;)


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