Here’s a simple safety tip that could sound a little crazy but hopefully help us stay safe. Have you been driving down the highway at night and you come up on a car with no tail lights? Then if you pass that car you find they have their headlights on. What’s happening?
I’ve seen this myself 3 times in the last 2 months. It’s simple, the headlight switch is turned off, please turn it back on. Here’s the nitty-gritty details of what’s happened.
There are three systems for lighting on newer cars: automatic headlights, daytime running lights, and screen displays for our gauges and audio climate controls. Here’s the chain of events: we all drive with headlights in AUTO (we’re not used to turning them ON when it’s dark), then someone turns the headlights OFF (service shop, child playing, borrow the car to mom or dad). You don’t notice there’s a problem because that’s the beauty of AUTO mode, we don’t need to check it or touch it.
Here’s why you don’t realize it’s happening. It’s dark, you get in, start the car to go, you think lights are in AUTO but they’re OFF. Daytime running lights automatically turn on, lighting up the road in front of you, and all your gauges are screens that are always lit up (an older car’s gauges would have been dark and helped you realize something’s wrong). At this point, you’re driving down the highway, daytime running lights help you see the road in front of you. But the back of your car is completely dark.
How can you know this has happened? The simplest way to stay safe is to be aware: if someone flashes their lights at you, this may be why, make sure your headlight switch is turned on. If you run your headlight switch in AUTO, just check it regularly, especially when anyone else has used the vehicle.