May 18, 2008

DRL Saved My Life?

Most of my friends know, and I made it pretty clear in my instructions here on how to disable the DRL in the Honda Fit, that I do not like the North American application of DRLs (Daytime Running Lamps). One of the first things I do when I get a new car is disable the DRL system. However, the DRL on another car may have just saved my, and some fellow drivers' lives tonight.

I had just merged onto the highway after a late dinner, and was about to move to the inside lane. The highway has concrete dividers separating the 4 lanes of traffic; two in each direction. After checking my surroundings, I initiated my lane change. Just as I start to cross the broken white line, the two cars ahead of me, who were about shoulder to shoulder at this point, both hit their brakes and started to squirm in their lanes a bit. I saw a squint of white light while they moved around and immediately got a feeling something is not right. So I canceled my lane change and moved back into the outside lane and slowed down. Just as I got back into my lane, the two cars ahead of my suddenly parted like the red sea, and I see two headlights coming at me the wrong way down the highway!! The two cars ahead had no time to react, but I was anticipating something, and I had already checked my surroundings because I was about to do a lane change. So I had time to hit the horn while I swerved around the car in order to warn the other drivers behind me.

After I was safely past the car, I check in my side mirror, and that's when I finally saw the offending car had stopped. Yes, he/she was still moving the whole time prior to this. But what really scared me was that when he/she let go of the brake pedal, the back of that car went pitch black. That's when I realized that the headlight we saw, was their DRL!!! They did not have their lights on!!!

This person was obvious drunk, or otherwise intoxicated to have traveled at least 150 yards from the offramp and got on the highway facing the wrong way. Ignored the "Do Not Enter" signs, the fact you just entered a divided highway on the left hand side, and that headlights are coming at you, and just kept driving down the center of the road. So for someone in this state of mind, they see light in front of their car from the DRL, would naturally assume their headlights are on. And that's what I hate about the DRL systems here, as previously stated in my other post. But in this case, the fact that the car was equipped with DRL might have just saved mine, my fellow drivers', and his or her own life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes that is what North American car manufactures do best; install devices that protects the weak, the retarded, the absent minded, and even a few drunkards too. In this case the driver should not have been allowed to drive road that day -- but thankfully the USA style DRL came to rescue. For once the out of european specs, non-uniform and from many angles exceeding max beam intensity may have been the best thing that happened that day. The drunk driver got lucky, and was given a another chance. Maybe we can humm a few 'I die another day' rhyme, as Madonna puts it nicely her Bond theme song.