Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Aug 18, 2014.
What this video doesn't say is that this is the norm in Eastern Europe and Russia.
Truckers have been doing that for years.
Never noticed that here.
Once upon a time I did a lot of interstate driving outside of metro areas, including a lot of commuting between here and NC. When an 18-wheeler passed you, it was pretty common for you to flash your high beams once to let him know that he had room to merge back into your lane in front of you, and he would flash his lights once as a thank you.
I use brights to allow people to come in in front of me.
I used to see that all the time in VA, when I was traveling up I-81 on the way to work at VA Tech.
Working in NC later, I didn't need to go on the interstate, but observed another courtesy there. If a vehicle two cars up was about to slow down and take a turn, the vehicle in front of me would make the same turn signal to let me know about it.
Rather than using your brights (which can blind the driver in front of you if he's looking in the mirrors), the proper procedure is to blip the lights off and then turn them right back on.
I do that whenever I am driving around semi's. If a semi and I pass each other a couple of times, they do it to me (in a car) as well.
To speak about the driving culture in Japan:
If you are in the front row at a stop light at night, you turn your headlights off while you sit there. You turn them on again when the light turns green.
I spent some time in Japan, and actually got a military drivers license endorsed for Japan (5-ton truck). Your first year of driving, you had a green and yellow iridescent sticker on the back of your car to indicate you are a student driver (Like the yellow stripe on the back of rookie cars in NASCAR). You could run over 20 people a day and only minimal stuff (if anything at all) would happen to you, because you were still "learning how to drive."
In the base driving school, they talked about the culture. One sailor hit a Japanese national, sending him to the hospital. The sailor showed up at the guys hospital room with an envelope full of Yen, took the guys wife to the supermarket, the kids to school and stuff like that while he was in the hospital and until he got a replacement car. When he went to court for the crash, all charges were dropped.
Contrast that to a young sailor who gave a little old lady a fender ride. He never went to see her, and she stayed a month or two AFTER his insurance stopped paying for it. So, he got a huge pile of bills, and charges were pressed to the maximum.
I usually do a little wave at drivers who let me in. If the window or top is open I use them to be more obvious. When I let somebody in -- and being retired I'm not usually in a hurry so I let people in like trying to enter the street from a gas station -- I appreciate a little wave from them. No recognition encourages me to not let them in next time. Never mind the ridiculousness that it's not the same people.
On the Interstate when a semi truck passes another, a headlight blip from the driver being passed means "you are clear of me and it's okay to change back into my lane ahead of me."
I cannot remember the ladt time I had a car where it was possible to blip the lights off and on without turning off the engine or engaging the e-brake (which doesn't even turn them off in my current truck)
One word: high beams. You flash them only an instant either once or more often twice in quick succession. On my car I pull the turn signal lever towards me to temporarily turn the high beams on. I just do a quick tap, tap on it, usually when somebody is passing and wanting to pull in front of me. This was mostly when I had a pick-up truck and 5th wheel trailer and was driving slower than semi trucks. A semi passes me, I blip my high beams twice to indicate he is far enough ahead of me that I don't mind him getting back into my lane. Often the truck driver will flick his running lights off twice as a "thank you" reply.
No, no high beams as you can blind the driver in front of you if he's checking mirrors when you flash.
I don't drive cross country at night. Everything I said applies to daytime driving only.
When you drive at night there is no scenery. Scenery is the last thing you lose before you are driving in a black tunnel with nothing but your headlights and maybe some tail lights of other cars and trucks.
I've driven all night about once in the last 2 dozen years -- Vegas to L.A. I didn't hardly even see any other vehicles on the highway. Certainly nobody that needed passing except by using the lane they weren't using.
Sorry if I didn't make it clear that I'm talking about daytime driving only.
If you have a car with automatic headlights, the easiest way to turn them off to signify "thanks" is to flip/turn the switch to the parking light position momentarily. If the DRLs are on, it will light the parking lights. If the headlights are on (and thus the parking lights are already on), it will turn off the headlights momentarily.
That would be a better night time solution.
Funny, we have plenty of hand gestures to indicate displeasure with other drivers, but a small wave is the only hand gesture I can think of that would be friendly rather than hostile.
Maybe it's because there are a lot more hostile drivers than polite drivers.