Now that the days are getting shorter, I find myself doing a bit more night and early morning driving before the sunrise. It is nearly a daily occurrence when I see unapproved and illegal lighting on trucks and trailers as I cruise the highways here in California. Being a fan of chrome and lights, I love the way trucks look when they are lit up like Christmas trees, with golden amber shining off stainless breathers and visors, but sometimes a well thought out set of lights may just be a nuisance or safety concern.
A lot of companies are now coming out with aftermarket lighting that illuminates the night like day! The problem with a lot of these conversions is that they have not been DOT safety approved. Furthermore, a lot of off-road light bars for desert racing have now made their way onto trucks from what I have recently seen, which are a particular concern when taking into acount the blinding light they emit. While unloading at a shipper this week and browsing my Facebook for the latest posts, I was shocked to look up and be practically blinded by one of these off-road LED lightbars on the back of someone’s trailer getting ready to back in next to me. At first I thought to myself “what a good idea for seeing behind while backing at night”, but then after being nearly blinded for 30 seconds after looking at it, I realized it may not be the best thing for everyone else around him!
Thoughts began to stream in about the possibility of him accidentally flipping the switch on the highway in front of someone, either accidentally or out of retaliation. This could pose quite a dangerous situation for other motorists on the road. Not to mention, I would not want to be the guy sleeping at a truckstop with my curtain open or cracked open, then wake up to the inside of my cab looking like a freight train was about to enter through my windshield!
I am all about the lovely colored lights and bright LED chicken lights everyone likes to dress their trucks up with. Believe me, I have some great ideas for undercarriage lights behind the Aero-X fairings on my New Cascadia! It is important to use DOT approved lights in any instance that might create a safety hazard otherwise if not. Be mindful of others with your lighting choices if at all possible and think it through before adding off-road products not meant for highway use. The last thing you want to do is blind another motorist out on the highway accidentally and be responsible for infringing upon their safety for a not-so-well though out choice. As a final closing PSA…don’t forget to turn off that dash switch before you hit the coops!