Driving in the dark

By Harriman Oyofo:

I am forever perplexed when I see people driving with headlights turned off after dark or in the small hours of the morning when all round visibility is severely reduced. It can be really scary because it beats all good sense and responsible behavior.

Is it that they’re unaware it is dark or it is that they forgot to throw the switch? Can they see in the dark? Do they’ve the proverbial 2020 vision or some kind of supernatural visual acuity that makes the vehicle’s electro-mechanical lighting system seem redundant? Or could it simply be that that system is malfunctioning, etc.? What would make a driver of average human attributes indulge in such hair-raising antics? Are they scaremongers, practical jokers or some kind of twisted thrill seekers? Could it be that they’re just non-conformers who believe that they are better than all the rest? What is it with them? Simply dumb or incredibly stupid?

In my view, we could spend eternity trying to figure out why, if indeed, there’s a single overriding, tenable reason for that kind of unsafe behavior but I doubt it much if any single one of us can come up with something remotely satisfactory or acceptable in the end. So what should worry every other road user more is the fact that these people are out there on the road everyday, dusk and dawn, playing by their own rules, needlessly putting other people’s lives at risk, consequence-free. These are individuals whose negative behaviors may be reinforced every single time they get away with it. That’s what makes them incurably dangerous to society. Ordinarily one would expect law enforcement agents to routinely stamp out anti-social driving behavior of this nature but alas!

What chance of that is there when some of that special community’s motorists are to be found from time to time foolishly engaged in same kind of errant behavior?

In the end, you may find you’re on your own when it comes to safeguard or defensive action, so stay alert and get the big picture of what’s happening around you at dusk or dawn or during inclement weather when visibility is reduced, so that you can act in time. See and be seen, turn on your headlights promptly, not your parking lights. Parking lights are just that …Parking Lights. They are not for when your vehicle is in motion. When to turn on your lights? A good, simple rule is: Switch on your lights immediately when your dashboard numerals become obscured! Don’t gamble with your safety.

Do the right thing always without prompting.


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