Night Driving.. and Flashers!

This is just one of those “pet peeve” posts really.  A soapbox moment, if you will…

Night Driving

Over the winter months I’ve had to do a fair amount of driving to and from work and university.  Being in the UK over winter generally means that you’re driving in the pitch black both mornings and evenings.  As a migraine sufferer I’ve always found it dazzling looking at oncoming headlights and bright tail lights for the hour-plus commute.I’ve noticed that so-called “advances” in technology have developed “better” and brighter headlight bulbs in many newer vehicles.  These seem to be a combination of halogen-type bulbs and the super-bright LEDs.  All of which is a positive aspect for the driver of the vehicles in question – they can see ahead of them clearer.  For those of us looking at them coming at us on the other side of the road.. *aaarrgh!  my eyes!*.  This is of course without mentioning the a-holes who drive with their full-beams on the whole time (!).

Most of my journey to and from work/uni is accomplished not because I can see where I am going, but simply because I have memorized the route!  Including all the blind turns and potholes.  All I can actually *see* is blackness contrasted by the searchlight-strength headlights coming at me on my right – and a hint of curb/grass on the left-hand side (UK remember).  It’s a wonder I manage to get from A to B sometimes!

Then, in addition to all of this you’ve got the cars that now have a strip of LEDs around the headlights which are on ALL the time.  These dazzle me during the DAY!

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[image source: http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1224/900136864_d8e2ce8599.jpg%5D

Flashers!

In some countries (Australia, most of mainland Europe – correct me if I’m wrong!), flashing your headlights is something to do ONLY when you are really pissed off!  Or it means, “I’m coming through – GET OUT OF MY WAY!”.

In the UK, people flash their lights to let you know that they are waiting for you to move through a tight junction – or to say “Thank You”.  Which is nice.

Except if you’re a migraine sufferer!  For me it’s just painful!  And with flashing lights being one of my major triggers, I find myself covering my eyes when I can anticipate someone flashing “at” me – and seeing spots and reaching for the drugs when they catch me unawares!  And again, there’s the group who will flash their lights in the daytime to say thank you – when I can see your face through the windscreen!  Just smile, nod, wave, anything OTHER than flashing your lights!  I appreciate that you’re trying to be thankful, just be mindful of your methods!

And a final comment – to all the UK county councils:

We pay our road tax, and council tax, get our MOTs done, etc.. how about you spend some of that money RESURFACING some roads.  Not just “filling in” potholes – that’s only a temporary fix – they come back bigger and more dangerous.  Some of the roads around my hometown are in a desperately poor state of repair.  I now have to go out and buy new tyres!  Yay!

Here endeth the rant.  If you read all the way to the end, thanks!

Like/Comment and let me know your perspectives.

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