Perhaps my biggest pet peeve, is another driver flashing their brights at me believing that mine are on. It happens quite often. I suppose that’s because I keep my headlight lenses clean. It’s either that, or people with severe glaucoma or cataracts sit behind the wheel of an oncoming vehicle.
The worst stretch of road where this occurs is at the exit past Needles, California, on U.S. 95 north heading to Laughlin and Searchlight, Nevada. There are a bunch of dips in the road along that route making it appear high beams are lit when they’re not.
It also takes place quite often in this town. Some city streets are inclined as they cross Highway 95, thus, directing vehicle headlight rays upwards. I’ve sat at numerous redlights at either South Acoma, Swanson, or Smoketree, and had a disgruntled driver shine their high-beams at me. When I flash mine back, they generally get the message. Sometimes they don’t. That happened the other evening.
I was on Smoketree stopped at the light heading west. McDonald’s restaurant was my destination. Across 95 from me was a small car going east. The guy flipped on his brights and left them that way. I blipped my headlight switch. He obliviously didn’t get the message.
Reverting back to blind you status, I kept mine on high-beam as payback. It turned into a showdown of sorts. We sat through the first light with neither car budging. There were no vehicles behind either of us, so all was good. I wished at that point I had aircraft landing lights.
My wife glared at me asking, “What are you doing?” I didn’t answer because it was a man thing, and she wouldn’t understand.
After sitting through one full light, we entered another segment of the standoff before a truck rolled up behind the guy. The man reluctantly crossed 95 giving me an angry stare as he drove past. It was another old geezer like me. I’m sure the fellow noticed I wore sunglasses. I never leave home without them.
Some might say that this was childish behavior on our part. Police would claim such events can lead to road rage. Both opinions hold merit. Regardless, it was obvious to me that I came out the victor and that’s all that mattered at the time.
My wife wasn’t happy, yet I believe Sheriff Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday would’ve been proud. I suppose if it happens again, and it will, I’ll simply put my sunglasses on and look away like so many times before. That would be the smart thing to do. I’m sure Chief Dan Doyle of the Lake Havasu City Police Department would agree.