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Blinded by the lights

Dazzle them with brilliance
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I often find myself in front of an annoyingly large SUV or truck with extremely bright headlights aimed directly at my eyes, by way of the rearview and side mirrors. I've tried adjusting the mirrors to aim the beams back at the offending vehicle's driver, with little success. The problem is that it's too difficult to aim a single mirror at Mr. SUV's eyes. Here's my solution to the problem of blindingly bright headlights:

On a piece of thin cloth approximately the size of your rear window (3' x 2'), paste several dozen one-inch by one-inch mirrors, thus covering the surface area of the cloth. Roll up the "mirror cloth" and affix it to the top rear of the inside of your vehicle. Attach a pull string to the roll that, when pulled, will unroll the mirror cloth, thereby blinding anyone behind you. Not all mirrors need to be aimed correctly to work, as it will only take a few of the mirrors to "return the favor."

Legal? Probably not, but by the time the guy behind you decides to get your license plate he'll be in the ditch (with any luck).

dloomis, Sep 25 2002

Somewhat related discussion http://www.halfbake.../Fog_20Lights_20Off
Drive through Tulare, Kings or Fresno County in San Joaquin Valley, CA and see what Real Fog is... [thumbwax, Sep 26 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

So, not the Manfred Mann's Earth Band's song then? http://www.amiright...annsearthband.shtml
[Dub, Feb 26 2006]

[link]






       road rage is bad - fishbone.   

       the answer is to enjoy the smugness of a negative response - do nothing. anything else you may do - rebounds and smacks you in the chops. sorry.
po, Sep 25 2002
  

       //I often find myself in front of an annoyingly large SUV or truck with extremely bright headlights aimed directly at my eyes//   

       That's me. Lights are at legal height and of legal wattage, yet I'm constantly getting the bright lights from oncoming traffic and persons slamming on the brakes in front of me. Guess what- pissing me off via mirror "tweaking", finger gestures, or other methods is more likely to wind *you* up in the ditch.
Mr Burns, Sep 25 2002
  

       Has there _ever_ been a good road rage idea?
waugsqueke, Sep 25 2002
  

       The problem with SUV lights - they're placed in the same relative distance from the hood, rather than from the ground - as a passenger car. This puts the beam directly at wind/shield/screen level of passenger cars. Tractor rigs do not have headlights at such a blinding level. It is a design flaw, and a serious one.
thumbwax, Sep 26 2002
  

       <Nods head emphatically, agreeing with [TW]>   

       I'm guessing they don't put them low because it would look goofy--purely a style thing. I also think (opinionated baker that I am) that the lights are not as effective to the SUV driver at that height, either. Especially in the fog.
bristolz, Sep 26 2002
  

       Companies have designed these things so as to appeal to the arrogant and narcissistic among us, and what better way for a consumer to not get mad, but even - than to *up*grade to a vehicle which allows previously blinded elves to no longer be blinded by these headlights. Those customers who *traipse on over to*/or/*been there, done that* purchase these SUVs, what to the rest of our elves is a design flaw - has become a *feature* which gets those customers out of lower profit margin vehicles and into the higher profit SUVs which increases profit margins considerably. Weasels.
Fog or no fog, I don't buy the headlight effectiveness rating bit one iota - diesel rigs don't blind drivers, as the headlights are lower than on SUVs - and yet truck drivers sit in cabs at a far greater height above the road. SUVS also need to have headlight beams adjusted downward several degrees. Even as a driver in fog, you also don't want light that close to eye-level, honest. Where I -er- hail from, the Tule Fog gets thicker than you can imagine.
thumbwax, Sep 26 2002
  

       In Australia (I don't know about the regulations elsewhere) large trucks and road trains have a regulation height that the headlights cannot be above. This means that the truck has lights at a level approximately at the same level as that of car drivers. This rule was introduced to address this very same problem. The ruling has not, however passed onto four wheel drives. Probably (as bristolz said) because it would reduce the appeal of these vehicles due to the 'goofy' look. Although the placement of the headlights is an annoyance to other road users, road rage is never a viable answer for any problem. Maybe an amicable agreement between driving associations and vehicle manufacturers to lower the pitch of the headlights would be a peaceful solution.
reap, Sep 26 2002
  

       Headlights on 4x4's are generally placed high for perfectly good technical reasosn - to keep them out of the mud, for the precious few who ever actually take them off road.   

       The answer might be two sets of headlights - one for road driving, and one for off-road. Trucks (apart frtom specailiased construction vehicles) very rarely go off road, so it's not a problem. Ditto buses.   

       It's a genuine problem but dazzling the following driver isn't the answer - especially if your little hatchback gets rear-ended by two tonnes of Land Rover with a bull bar on the front.
8th of 7, Sep 26 2002
  

       One problem: unless your car has a vertical rear window (which probably means you own one of the offending vehicles), the mirrors would not reflect the light back towards the driver. The light would be reflected upwards, doing no good whatsoever towards giving you revenge (it does work to keep the bright lights out of your eyes, though).
Bert6322, Sep 27 2002
  

       I (we) own an SUV [TW]. I guess I am arrogant and narcissistic.
bristolz, Sep 27 2002
  

       An idea from the past that never really caught on for some reason: polarize the headlights in one direction and the car windshield and windows in another to eliminate the glare from oncoming traffic. Another solution might be to use photoreactive materials such as those used in eyeglasses that darken to adjust to bright light, a similar material used in welding helmets darkens and lightens in a small fraction of a second.
Ardd, Sep 28 2002
  

       I have a pair of those eyeglasses, and it takes AT LEAST 5 minutes for them to darken or lighten. On top of this, artificial light does not affect them in any way, shape, or form. So a (technical name) photograying rear windshield would accomplish nothing, except maybe decrease rearward visibility in the daytime.
SoldierJim, Feb 24 2006
  

       I'm with [dloomis] on this one. The place for arrogant headlights is in a ditch. Most of them will also drive with fog lamps on, too. I loath road rage, but I'm willing to make an exception here.
Dub, Feb 26 2006
  

       Youre driving to slow Jerk!
bob, Oct 29 2012
  

       I like the polarisation take from [Ardd] - though [SoldierJim] appears to be confusing polarisation with photochromic lenses/glass.   

       If a suitable convention could be found for the orientation of polarised lights, then windshield and window glass could be oriented 90 degrees so as to avoid nearly all direct glare from oncoming/following vehicles.   

       Light scattering from objects in the road would still pass through the windshields, allowing the driver to benefit from suitable illumination in the dark - it might be up to 50% less, but you could just crank up the brightness to compensate.
zen_tom, Oct 29 2012
  

       So 10 years ago the Halfbakery was a place where road rage was a bad thing? How times change.
DIYMatt, Oct 29 2012
  
      
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