Piston Slap: Blinded by the Light or BGE Clarity?
Looooooongtime TTAC reader Robin writes:
Even after all these years on the road (driving since 1972) there are still situations that raise the hackles on my my neck. This is my cautionary tale.
The other day I was on 75, heading south to Dallas, from McKinney. It was around 6:00 a.m., a good hour before sunrise. I like to stay in the next-to-the-outside lane, leaving the furthest right hand lane for drivers entering the freeway. So I began my scan to move over one.
Immediately behind me was a late model, full-sized truck. They are high enough that those headlights pretty much flood my rear vision. I could see that he was NOT attempting to overtake me, either. But there was something in my field of vision. It was vague, flooded out by those projector headlights. I hesitated before moving. And sure enough, here came a guy on a motorcycle, passing us all. He was not driving recklessly at all. Yet I could not see him for the briefest instant as he traversed through the glare of those projector beams.
I don’t know what would have transpired, we were all tucked in pretty damned closely.
Bottom line is, no matter how safely one is operating their vehicle, no matter how safely everyone else is operating, it only takes a literal second for things to go sideways.
While I wasn’t there with our OP, he lives in my home state: some of Our People are proud of their turbo-blindy aftermarket HID/LED kits in factory housings never intended for such bulbs, sometimes made worse by lift kits*** ensuring everyone sees your blinding light.
So protect yourself from misaligned/illegal headlights (and fog lights!) via mirror adjustment as per Blindzone Glare Elimination ( BGE) guidelines.
I was thrilled to recently learn that BGE is taught (has been taught?) in Texas Driver’s Education, this will help everyone. So a big thanks to SAE member George Platzer for writing t he definitive article in 1995: if only I was young enough to learn from his wisdom in school!
But now I embrace the BGE lifestyle, combined with a modest rear window tint, the issue Robin experienced (almost?) never happens to me. Believe that.
[Image: Shutterstock user Oleksiy Mark]
Send your queries to email@example.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.
***No, I’m not hatin’ on lift kits, especially since many a lifted truck saved Houston residents during Hurricane Harvey. The issue here is completing the upgrade via headlight adjustment and not using aforementioned blindy (technical term) and illegal bulbs in housings never intended for them. Otherwise, I got nothing but love for them skyward Cowboy Cadillacs, Son!
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