Monday, December 12, 2011

Full beams are not a substitute for a blown bulb

Public service announcement : if you have a blown headlight bulb, change it. Using your full beams and fog lights is not a substitute. Replacement bulbs are cheap and it'll take you seconds to do it. Now we're all commuting in the dark every morning and evening, this is particularly irksome. Drivers who could care less about their car, bumble along on autopilot blinding everyone in front of them because they're too bloody lazy to spend less than a tenner to fix a problem on their cars. If I was a police officer I'd pull everyone of these goons over and ticket them. Why? Because driving on full beams in traffic is dangerous - it blinds everyone coming towards you, and anyone in front of you with a rearview mirror. I think the only thing that's worse is drivers with a blown bulb who don't drive on high beams, but also don't bother to fix the bulb. In the dark, it's now difficult to tell if you're looking at a car or a motorbike because there's only one headlight. Either way - don't be lazy. Just fix the damned thing. It's easy to do, just make sure you don't handle the new bulb with your bare hands - wear some cotton or rubber gloves. If you touch the glass on the bulb with your bare skin, the grease you leave behind will cause a hotspot and the bulb will crack and fail. The only exception to this is if you have HID lights - those are a lot pricier to fix because it means either a new arc discharge unit, new control unit, new ballast, or all of the above. But then you knew that when you paid an extra $1000 for them on the car when new, right?


Ars.Gladius said...

Yes, yes, yes.

Also, add to that:

The numbwits that put higher wattage bulbs in their low beams for "more light" and blind everyone anyway.

The numbwits that drive with their high beams on ALL THE TIME. Even in daylight!

The numbwits that have misaligned head lights that are aimed directly into oncoming traffic.

And on a related note, the ones that can't be bothered to replace brake lights either. I have seen many, many, many, a car with only 1 of 3 brake lights working. Thank fully I have only seen 1 or 2 with NO brake lights at all!

Silas said...

I've seen the "busted brake lights" thing too, and I've seen it even on vehicles which actually light an idiot light should a bulb blow!

What the US sorely needs is updated lighting standards. Let's try to at least get to the same level as Canada, which makes the far better for EVERYONE ECE-compliant lighting legal. I'd prefer to make ECE compliance mandatory, but making it legal would be a big step (not that its illegality stops any of the multiple people I know with ECE lights from using them, because they're that much better)

I will admit to leaving my headlights on all the time. Only on normal, though; I can't remember when I last used high-beams. And I take care to keep the blasted things properly aligned, insofar as it's possible with the horrendous spec the US demands.

Chris said...

I like the people with rear foglights that don't know they have rear foglights, and so drive around with those on all the time. You know - the ones that are brighter than the brake lights?
Also : in Utah most people seem to drive with one foot resting on the brake pedal anyway so you don't believe brake lights around here any more. :-D

Ars.Gladius said...

Or for that matter, the ones that drive with the front fog lights on all the time, especially after dark.

Paul said...

My pet peeve here in Houston (other than the ones already mentioned) is the apparent right of people here to drive at night, towing a trailer with no working lights. If the driver of the tow vehicle is "really clever" they'll put the hazards on while they're driving at 70mph along the highway, even though following drivers can't really see the hazard lights because the bloody unlit trailer's in the way.

Unknown said...

I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. The Mrs and recently had a 45-minute trip from an outing where-by upon parking we had realised the far-side headlight was gone. Far too late at night to get a new bulb and no-where near home, we had no choice but to plod down the M6 and some A-roads with wonky-vision.

Hopefully all the other people we see with just one light working are in a similar situation... highly unlikely, but it prevents me from getting angry at each and every one of them!