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Old 07-03-2011, 09:39 PM   #1
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Exclamation Unexpected Danger on the Road

While returning from a short local trip on Saturday without our Airstream, we observed something that could proven to be quite a danger. We were traveling on Interstate 57 near Goreville, Illinois at about 11:00 PM running at the speed limit (65 MPH) when a semi barrelled by at close to 80 MPH. The semi pulled back into the lane in which we were traveling about 5 car lengths ahead of us (we were separated by a small compact car). Almost as soon as the semi pulled into our lane, six high-powered white lights illuminated on the back of the truck - - the truck slowed slightly being sure that the lights were nearly blinding the driver of the car in front of us (I am not certain, but believe that the car ahead of us had its high beams illuminated, we were running with low beams). The semi finally turned the lights off and sped up after about 3 miles of this treatment.

I am hoping that this isn't an example of new hazards on the highway.

Kevin
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Old 07-03-2011, 10:14 PM   #2
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Hi Kevin. I've seen this behavior from semi drivers too. My previous highly touted tow vehicle seemed to settle at the rear when hitched up and I never found a good adjustment on my Reese to prevent this. Thus even the low beams aimed higher than they should have. I got flashed with some regularity. A semi pulling a flatbed passed me near Charles City, IA, and flashed me with his very bright rear-facing loading lights. It was quite a shock and I believe he didn't show any concern about the impact of such sudden, blinding light.

My feeling about the 'two second rule' is triple it and still keep a wary eye out. Thanks for bringing this up.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:11 PM   #3
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:18 PM   #4
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:40 PM   #5
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One cool feature of the Tundra (ours is a 2010 Crew Cab) with the tow package is a little dial that allows you to adjust headlights up or down from the cab. Thus when the rear end settles a bit, I can spin that dial and point the headlamps back down to a safe zone. Funny thing is I had no idea the truck had that feature when I bought it. Thought at first it was the interior dash dim feature, but noticed I already had one of those...
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:32 PM   #6
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Hmm...so do we retaliate with a roll bar loaded up with Baja 500 special off road lights lined up to shine down the sides of 18 wheelers into the truck mirrors? Shouldnt be too hard to set that up. Roll bars are handy for hauling long things like ladders in the bed, anyhow.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gringo View Post
Hmm...so do we retaliate with a roll bar loaded up with Baja 500 special off road lights lined up to shine down the sides of 18 wheelers into the truck mirrors? Shouldnt be too hard to set that up. Roll bars are handy for hauling long things like ladders in the bed, anyhow.
Nahhhh!!! Forward facing BB guns should do the trick on the lights
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:04 PM   #8
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Twin .50s? oh wait, we're supposed to Drive Friendly down here in the Lone Star state.
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:18 PM   #9
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I'm sure its illegal to show 'white' lights rearward when moving 'forward' on the road, probably in all states...

If possible, once I got my vision back, I'd record the Lic #, trailer #, location, speed, etc., and file a complaint with the hauler's company and maybe the state's highway patrol...

There's no place for that kind of unprofessional-ism on our highways! Just because truckers earn their living using the highways, doesn't mean they 'own' em' - the rest of us pay a bunch of $'s for the privilege of using em' too!
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:40 PM   #10
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The truckers drive on all of our $$ too. That's one of the reasons truck freight can compete with rail - we all pay to maintain the highways, but only the railroads pay to maintain the tracks, so the truckers get a bit of a free ride.
The trucker who is blinding the car behind him likely owes his job to the guy who is squinting into his "back-up lights".
Show a bit of courtesy out there, folks!
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:11 PM   #11
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Most truckers are good guys. If they flash their loading lights they are telling you that your head lights are aimed too high or you have your bright lights on and that your lights in their mirrors are as irritating to them as are their loading lights to you. I've never had a trucker flash me unless I forgot to dim my high beams.

Additionally, whenever a semi passes me, day or night, I will flash my high beams at them when their trailer has cleared the front of my tow vehicle to let them know that it is OK to pull in front of me. This is especially courteous when there is a line of cars behind the semi and the driver wants to pull in front of me ASAP to allow the cars to pass. Most truckers appreciate this and will flash their running lights after they pull in front me to signal “thank you”.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:02 PM   #12
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To 'signal' a trucker that it's safe to merge back into my lane, I use the old method of momentarily switching my headlights OFF - to the parking light position - then back ON, I usually repeat this at least once more...

This method avoids having to flash your high beams into the trucker's mirrors, with the possibility of that 'blinding' beam...

I will use the high beam 'flash' during daylight hours for this same merging 'signal', as the intensity is far less harsh at this time...

Be safe out there...
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:57 AM   #13
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What withidi said. As a retired truck driver with almost 3,000,000 miles, thanks. Sal.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:36 AM   #14
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"If they flash their loading lights they are telling you ..."

sorry, but I don't agree. If they flash their loading lights they are momentarily blinding you. I don't listen very well to whatever someone who is trying to blind me is trying to tell me, I guess. I really wouldn't much appreciate having to try to hold on to the steering wheel and hope I stay on the pavement until my night vision returns.

All the trucker has to do to avoid the bright lights is lean forward until his eyes are not in the beams reflected from the side mirrors. The guy who just got a faceful of bright loading lights has no recourse. he's blinded, and all he can do is close his eyes.

I have an issue with being forced to travel down the highway at 60 or 70 mph while blinded. Any trucker who tries to tell me something by optically assaulting me should be prosecuted and not get to be a trucker anymore.
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