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Fuel for Thought

Safer Vehicles, But Not Necessarily Safer Drivers

By Greg Huggins
Posted Dec 11th 2017 12:08PM

Time and technology is constantly moving forward. While we do not have a way to halt time, we do have a little control over the technology we use. Recent years have spurred a multitude of technological advances, and while we continue to see “New and Improved” technology in our vehicles every day, it is only as good as the input we provide to it in order to determine whether it is an asset or a liability.

On the vehicle technology front we now have auto/darkness sensing headlamps, rain sensing wipers, blind spot detection, crash mitigation systems and lane departure warning systems, just to name a few.

Rain sensing wipers are a great tool to have in a surprise thunder storm, but it is not the only thing you need. With this new technology, wipers automatically turn on when it starts raining, but you, as the driver, still need to TURN ON YOUR LIGHTS. Apparently people ASSUME they because they can see, that we can see them. WRONG! Rain sensing wipers have created a habit for people to think they do not need to do anything when it starts raining but keep driving since the wipers came on and they can still see, but everyone else also needs to see you.


A heavy downpour starts. Your automatic wipers start, but you still slow down for safety on the wet road.

The vehicle behind you has to manually turn on their wipers and in that brief time, they rearend you because they couldn’t see or see you.

You might have avoided that if you TURN ON YOUR LIGHTS!  

Auto sensing headlamps have been around for quite some time now, and maybe that is where some of the problems lie with it. People are naturally creatures of habit, so when we get used to something, we tend to assume that it always will be. Many drivers have gotten out of the habit of turning on their lights simply because ‘they will turn on when they need to’.

Especially this time of year, when the the daylight hours are shorter, more and more drivers are traveling without their headlamps on. Is it really so difficult to turn a switch?

I have developed a habit over the years to drive with my lights on at all times. Day and night. When you consider the longevity of today’s lights, there really isn’t a good reason not to always use your lights. Lights are meant to be used and they will last for a long, long time. LED lights may even last longer than you will own the vehicle, even if you use them at all times. Even during the day when the sun is shining, another driver may be blinded by the sun, but still be able to see you because of your lights.

Can we all try to develope a new habit?

  1. Turn the key on (or push the start button)
  2. Turn on the headlamps
  3. Buckle up
  4. Drive safe    

See you down the road,



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