2014 Passat SE, 1.8tsi, 5sp / 1986 Golf Custom
2019 DT Ram 5.7 16V / 2005 E-450 motor home 6.8 20V
A2 Golf & A2 Coupe racers
Originally Posted by chois
Exactly. It's much easier to tell if your lights are off or your high beams are on when driving on a dark road.
Last edited by IJM; 02-14-2020 at 12:15 PM.
The part about urbanization? That's a fact.
The part about metro areas being so lit up that one could (not necessarily should) drive around with no headlights at all and still manage to see where they're going? That's also a fact.
The part about the existence of urban idiots driving around with their high beams on permanently? I see at least a dozen of these people each day on my 20 mile commute. That may not seem like a large number of people doing it, but it resluts in a large number of people being blinded by it.
The apple shaped dent in my rear door didn't come from anecdote. It came from a PG county douchebag who got offended when I flashed him for driving around with his high beams on blinding everyone on the beltway, so he threw his lunch at my car.
Anecdotal, my ass.
But hey, glad your stories have more weight than peer and university reviewed research (those studies were done to determine at what level of darkness and distance from a known object people would turn on their high beams, so rural vs urban doesn't matter) and the IIHS. You keep being you.
Area man substitutes personal anecdotal observations for actual studies, more at 11. No wonder facts don't matter anymore, everyone thinks they know better. Your anecdotal observations do not negate said studies. You can easily google 'underuse of high beams' to pull them up and educate yourself. Now if you have a problem with the type of study or something about it is not optimal or empirical or the sample size is too small or they're making some extrapolations that are illogical, that's one thing, and if it's due to inaccurate methods or results are off then by all means it should be discussed... But let's not pretend your personal observations somehow carry more weight than studies that back this stuff up just bc you find it to be untrue. That's not how facts work, you usually have to disprove them with more facts, not throw them out because your experiences don't jive.
Last edited by Shmi; 02-14-2020 at 01:27 PM.
Maybe there's some miscommunication - I'm not saying 85%(random # as an example) of the population under-use them. That point would be incompatible with the fact that most people live in cities and 90% of their driving doesn't require them. I'm saying that 85% of the time high beams should/could be used, they're not, irrespective of where they live/drive.
The study even backs up what you said about rural residents using them more, but still not as frequently as they could.
Vehicles at rural sites and sites at the boundaries of Ann Arbor were more likely to use high beams than vehicles at urban sites, but use in rural areas compared with rural/urban boundary areas did not vary significantly. Rates at all sites were much lower than expected, ranging from 0.9 to 52.9%. High beam use generally increased with greater time between subject vehicles and leading vehicles and vehicles in the opposing lane. There were mixed findings associated with street lighting, road curvature, and direction of travel relative to the city.
Last edited by Shmi; 02-14-2020 at 01:53 PM.
These days I feel like it's about a 10% success rate. People are just too goddamned stupid to notice flashing high beams, and too goddamned stupid to know how to operate basic functions on their vehicle.
The reality is, uh, a tad more nuanced. Many of us drive in urban and suburban and exurban and rural areas, all in the same day/week/month. Many suburban areas are poorly lit. There are cases where high beam use in one of the richest zip codes has saved me from hitting a deer. In fact, if anything, the rich areas are often more poorly lit, and those areas tend to be in/near population centers.
Also, high beams in the middle of a blazing bright metro area are less annoying/problematic than high beams in a rural area. In the dark rural area you kind of need your night vision. In a well lit area, the difference between the ambient lighting and the high beams is not as great, and, as mentioned, you could drive without your lights on sometimes, so dealing with a bit of glare (say, on divided arterials rather than 2 lane country roads) is a lot easier.
Another common issue I see with high beams and the fail to dim crowd...
Quite often people tell me they have their brights on because one of the low beams is out. I always explain there are a couple issues with that. They shouldn't be blinding everyone because they haven't bothered to fix it. And at least in FL, you are better off getting a faulty equipment ticket instead of Fail to Dim. The latter is a moving violation which carries points and is more expensive. As a general rule I won't write a ticket for someone who has a headlight out unless the stop leads to something criminal. I will write you for not dimming your lights though!
I did see on our CX-5's that you have to have the lights in Auto mode with the stalk forward to activate the high beams. I will have to try it and see how they perform. We have a good mix of urban and rural in my immediate area so should be interesting to see how good the system is.
'16 F150 5.0 S/C, '18 Honda Goldwing
When I started driving, the normal reaction to seeing a flash of the lights by another driver is to check your own vehicle to see if anything was amiss. Lights not on, high beams on when they shouldn't be, big cloud of smoke out the back, something hanging loose, etc. Or too fast and there's a cop up ahead ...