I’ll admit it, the title dates me, but it fits. How do drivers coming at you send a warning? 

When people flash their lights at you, that usually means they believe your bright lights are on and are asking you to please dim them. When an oncoming driver is rapidly turning their headlights on and off, it is a warning. Now it is up to us to interpret the signal…  

A motorist I saw the other day did their best to save the day, and I sure appreciated the warning. Going west in New Mexico on I-40, there are canyons, steep hills, the road is curvy, and on top of all that, the speed is 75 mph. It was Saturday morning and there was a lot of truck traffic. As I approached a slight incline with a warning of steep downhill ahead, an oncoming motorist was frantically flashing their headlights as they traveled east.

I took this warning seriously and hoped they were not warning us that there was an officer of the law hidden up ahead, just waiting to catch someone. That was not the case! As I topped the hill, I immediately saw that the interstate was at a standstill. As I applied the brakes, I tapped the emergency flasher icon for the traffic behind me as we were all running pretty close. 

As I slowed, I looked in the side mirrors and watched as the truck behind me, who did not see the car flashing their headlights and had not slowed at all, started looking for an out. They swerved to the left and saw that lane was blocked and then violently swerved back to the right and headed for the shoulder. The driver was able to get their truck stopped on the shoulder beside my truck.  I am sure their heart was pounding even harder than mine. 

When you see an oncoming vehicle violently flashing their lights, pay attention as something is going on up head. I sure appreciated the motorist warning all of us about the traffic stopped on the interstate, and I believe their warning allowed many of us to come to a safe and smooth stop. For those that were not paying attention, they stopped more abruptly and luckily for the driver behind me avoided getting into an accident.  So, when you see headlights coming at you that are being rapidly turned on and off, think “Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!” Slow down and be prepared.

I want to send out a huge thank you to all the motorists who take the time to warn others when there is danger ahead instead of just sitting still and videoing the impending collisions.

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Linda Caffee

Bob and Linda started their driver careers after their children left home for college in 2000. Bob started as a driver for a large motor carrier with Linda as a rider. They decided to enter the Expedite industry as team drivers in 2005 and purchased their first Freightliner. Both, Bob and Linda have had their Class A licenses since the early 80's starting out driving in the oil field and hauling grain as fill in drivers where Bob worked as a diesel mechanic. Linda worked at the local country courthouse in data processing.

Ask Linda a question

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