Life with Lauren: My gripe with high beams


Lauren Deisley, Lifestyles Editor

It’s just a simple flick of a switch, really.

When you’re going down the highway at night just wanting to get home, the last thing you need is to be blinded by another driver.

But this happens so often that it’s hardly worth a second thought.

It wasn’t always that way, though. I remember being a passenger as a kid and rarely hearing my parents complain about the brights on another car. It just didn’t happen very often.

Now, however, we’ve become such an inconsiderate society that we simply can’t be bothered to flick off the brights. I mean, come on, who wants to waste 30 seconds of their life on a switch?

I can’t really decide if it’s inconsideration, laziness, or a combination thereof. Either way, it’s getting out of hand.

Especially the farther east I go. Where I’m from in central Nebraska, it isn’t quite as bad. But it’s getting there fast.

What a lot of people don’t think about when they see someone else’s headlights is the way that person will react.

I’ve been in the car with someone who jerks the wheel whenever she gets blinded by brights, and that terrifies me more than a little.

We all have our stories. Each car contains someone with a different life, a different story than yours.
What if the other driver has problems with their vision, like photosensitivity?

Photosensitivity means that someone is extra sensitive to bright lights. My boyfriend is very photosensitive, and it can actually be painful to be flashed by a set of blinding bulbs.

When he drives, he turns off every light he can, including dimming the dashboard lights, simply because they bother his eyes.

Even his bedroom is dark, the windows are covered by blackout curtains.

So a set of extra-bright headlights are almost like a stab to the eyes with a hot blade.

I myself have far less room to complain since I don’t have a car to drive, or even a license to drive with. But that doesn’t mean headlights don’t bother me. In fact, my eyes struggle with light almost as much as my boyfriend’s do.

I have double vision due to nerve paralysis in my right eye. Staring down a highway for an extended time really kills my eyes in the first place.

Add a set of brights, and I’m truly done for.

I believe that our society, the young generation especially, has grown up without the same set of values as our parents.

Think about it, would your parents or even your grandparents forget to turn off their brights? I don’t think so.

It all comes down to how we treat each other, to be honest. Sure, it’s just headlights, but it’s actually so much more in the grand scheme of things.

One set of blinding LEDs can represent an entire mindset of inconsideration and laziness that really doesn’t belong in this world.

It’s just a simple flick of a switch, really. How hard can it be?