Tahlequah Daily Press

October 17, 2011

Promoting safe driving


— Editor, Daily Press:

The winter months are rapidly approaching, and with them comes shorter and shorter daylight hours.

That means, since shorter daylight hours have no effect upon work hours, many more of us will be driving to and from work under nighttime conditions. So, I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about headlights, and the enigma of the dimmer switch.

Since the early 1980’s, automakers have designed autos with the dimmer switch on the steering column. It is located on the same switch as the even more mysterious turn signals.

I’ll save the wonders and mysteries of the elusive turn signal for another time. Let’s concentrate on the dimmer switch.

When the switch is in the high beam mode a blue indicator light will appear on the dash board of the vehicle. This means your high beams are on.

Here’s my point: When you are driving on any Oklahoma road, highway, street, avenue, etc., you must use your low beams when oncoming traffic is approaching. This isn’t a suggestion, guideline, courtesy, or even a hint. Chapter 12 of the Oklahoma Department of Motor Vehicle’s driver’s manual states that you must dim your beams within 1,000 feet of an oncoming vehicle and within 600 feet when following another vehicle.

The reason I’m saying this is because of the number of times I’ve been high-beamed on the road going to and coming from work.

It just takes a moment to switch from high beams to low beams, and shouldn’t be too much of a problem if you are paying attention. So, put down the iPhone, iPad, cigarette, or whatever else, and pay attention to the road and traffic.

Troy Sanford