Commuter Corner: Feel free to flash me

Sometimes it's hard to distignuish what lights are what on the road, but it's a good thing they exist.  (R.E. Barber Photography/Flickr Creative Commons)

Sometimes it's hard to distignuish what lights are what on the road, but it's a good thing they exist.  (R.E. Barber Photography/Flickr Creative Commons)

I commute from about 45 minutes away, which means that I have a lot of experience driving.  I may not know how to turn that experience into good driving techniques, but I definitely have the knowledge up there somewhere.  I wanted to share with you a problem I’ve continually had when it comes to driving that can actually be pretty dangerous.

School projects are amping up, but the amount of time to get the work done is decreasing.  How can this be?  Well, there’s this little thing called a group project that has been eating up most of my time and making me stay on campus until after dark.  Coincidentally, the company I intern at has a big product release going on, so I have to stay late there as well and come in on an extra day.  Friday is now the only day of the week where my headlights don’t need to be turned on for the drive home.  Turns out though, I don’t think I need my headlights at night anyway.

Okay, let’s back up.  A few weeks ago, some driver flashed their lights at me, alerting me to the cop around the corner.  I was so impressed that someone would actually do that for me and potentially save me from a speeding ticket (I’m always scared to flash mine in case the police catch me), that I internalized this connection between lights and cops.  Now it’s ingrained in my head:  whenever someone flashes their lights at me, I assume there’s a cop around.  Of course I know that sometimes it means your lights are off, but my first thought is “Okay, there’s a cop.” The headlights thing is a distant second.

Headlights, by this point, have to be the first thought.  I have literally forgotten to turn on my headlights so often that it should just be automatic.  There is no cop.  Don’t even worry about a cop.  Worry about someone not being able to see you, or you not being able to see the road.  I mean, my headlights aren’t the strongest, but can I really not tell as I’m driving that I need to turn my lights on?  It’s sad to say it, but nope.  I clearly can’t even tell that I need my lights.  I am just off and there’s nothing that will stop me.

Thankfully, it clicks after a while that I need to turn my lights on.  They flash theirs, I get it in my head that there’s a cop and then they drive by.  A few minutes later, I realize my mistake, turn the lights on and wonder why they do driving tests during the day.

I don’t know what the deal is. Maybe I’m too much of a homebody and need to go out at night more often. Maybe I’m just too tired to really pay attention to the road anyway. I bet I could try blaming this on how bad my eyesight is in general, too. Just a word of caution to anyone travelling Route 44 East at night: don’t do it. I might be there, and that may not end well for you.  I wish it weren’t so, but I may as well warn you.

If you see me, feel free to flash me.  I will feel stupid, but that’s much better than how I’d feel getting a ticket, or if I crashed.  I will hopefully get it in my head soon enough to just turn them on when it’s dark, but who knows.


Hannah Desrosiers is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at hannah.desrosiers@uconn.edu.