We live about twelve miles from where I work. Half the trip is on two-lane roads. I drive between fields, through woods, past houses. I don’t pass many cars. I like the drive.
The other night, however, the timing was right for traffic. I met several cars, more than usual. Several times, the other drivers were using their high beams to see the road. And several times, I had to remind them that they were using their high beams.
At the very least, the bright lights were a visual annoyance. At worst, the distraction was dangerous, perhaps deadly.
I thought about the courtesy involved in dimming your lights. It allows people to share the road. It acknowledges that I may have good reason for going where you are coming from. It means that you may have to slow down a bit because you can’t see as far. It means that you see me.
I thought about conversations I have in passing with other people. There are times that they (or I) walk though the interaction with bright lights. We overwhelm conversation. We blind the other person, ignoring where they are going, not registering their existence.
Sometimes they blink at us, and we realize what’s happening. Sometimes, we are so focused on the road ahead that we don’t notice the people we are meeting.
In the next few days, you’ll see lots of people. Or rather, you will pass them. At least part of the time, dim your lights.
Share the road.