Automotive technological advancements and their impacts

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Observer135
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Automotive technological advancements and their impacts

Unread post by Observer135 on

Automotive manufacturers just like any other industry continue to make improvements and add new features to cars we drive in order to make them safer and more comfortable.

As far back as 2006 manufacturers began to include fully lit instrument panel, even without the driver turning on their headlights, this was done to improve visibility of the gauges in sunny bright daylight.

The problem with such improvements arise when drivers do not read the manual or understand how their vehicle functions.

I have noticed a large increase of drivers operating their vehicle in the dark without turning on their lights and more than 80% of these cars are newer cars with dashes that are on at all times. This leads the driver to think they have their light on.

True story, I pulled up beside a driver who was driving with his lights off, I got his attention and told him he forgot to turn on his light. His reaction was priceless, he asked me what do I mean? He had no idea what to do, eventually he figured it out where the control was but that took him 20 seconds behind the red light traffic light.

This morning on the 401 I saw two cars driving in the dark and fog with their lights off, one driver would not even look over when I tried to get his attention, driving a late model Camry, another on the 410 driving a Lexus, total of 3 vehicles on 400 series highways, driving with their lights off asking to be run over by an 18 wheeler.

I don't know if any section of HTA stipulates this or not, but when I was applying for my licence, we were thought it is a must to activate your full lighting system during rain, snow and fog to make yourself visible to "other" drivers. And of course in the dark, if I am correct one hour before sunset and after sunrise.

So what I find even baffling is, how do these drivers get a license "after" taking a "certified" course and still not know this? Could it be that the instructor is a bigger buffoon than the driver who doesn't know how to turn a knob and activate their head/tail lights?

Rant over.


Whenaxis
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Unread post by Whenaxis on

Here is the specific section in the Highway Traffic Act:
62. (1) When on a highway at any time from one-half hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise and at any other time when, due to insufficient light or unfavourable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 150 metres or less, every motor vehicle other than a motorcycle shall carry three lighted lamps in a conspicuous position, one on each side of the front of the vehicle which shall display a white or amber light only, and one on the rear of the vehicle which shall display a red light only. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 62 (1).

Some of the newer cars have an automatic lighting system, with daytime running lights and it switches over to full headlights based on light sensors. Of course, in bad weather (i.e. fog), it may not be dark enough for the lighting system to automatically switch to full headlights so it may require a driver to manually switch over. But if they've become reliant on the automatic system, they have trouble manually switching on headlights.

But I've noticed this too with fog in the Toronto area these past few days. Daytime fog can be misleading because it still seems bright enough outside. You can see other cars; but if your headlights aren't on, other cars can't see you!

And then there's those drivers that always drive with their high beams on, that's a rant for another time...


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Unread post by bmcdon on

I see instances of this (lack of headlights) quite a bit. The "automatic on" feature catches quite a few people off guard with them either never reading the manual or simply, due to knowing it's automatic and they (in their mind) never have to think about it. While a lack of headlights is one thing, what these people don't understand is that in driving conditions where visibility is reduced, your rear end is at risk. This is more important in fog for example because your headlights are less effective and you really need to know where that person in front of you is and what speed they're doing. Personally I'm interested in letting those behind me know that I'm in front of them as much as letting those coming towards me know I'm there too.


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bobajob
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Unread post by bobajob on

I hear and feel your pain, I stopped doing anything about it, when I used to get stupid/angry responses.

So, I let them drive on, hopefully they will learn when they get copped or wrap themselves around a lampost and Darwin takes control.

Seriously, a lot of people, simply think, they can get into a car and drive, because they have a license,
Barely know how to pump gas, never opened the hood, can't check oil and water.

In the UK, when you switch the light switch on, the dash and side lights and rear lights come on. PERIOD
here I've noticed, dash comes on, front PARKING/SIDE lights and no rear lights, how retarded is this.
This is a NA thing, I can't think of any other country that has this stupidity.

Another thought, is this, the first notch is actually for parking, not driving, the second is all lights on full

In my car, I have an auto setting, when I get into the car, it detects the light levels and puts on all relevant lights
so far never steered me wrong


Observer135 wrote:Automotive manufacturers just like any other industry continue to make improvements and add new features to cars we drive in order to make them safer and more comfortable.
As far back as 2006 manufacturers began to include fully lit instrument panel, even without the driver turning on their headlights, this was done to improve visibility of the gauges in sunny bright daylight.
The problem with such improvements arise when drivers do not read the manual or understand how their vehicle functions.
Rant over.
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bobajob
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Unread post by bobajob on

to add, my auto lights ALWAYS bring on back and rear lights and dash, when it's just under twilight or very dim
they bring the lights on
NEVER had a problem with them,
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Observer135
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Unread post by Observer135 on

The "automatic lights on" feature is available on some but not all cars and yes, it is not a good idea to become depended on it. My most recent car has this feature but I never use it.

When I purchased my 2006 Mazda6, the sales person going over a five minute introduction of the car suggested I leave my lights on at all times, because the car has a feature that will shut off the lights after a minute or two and it will not drain my battery, this way I will not forget to turn on my lights in the dark. I personally ignored this and stuck to my old way of doing things, manually turn on my full lighting system once it starts to get dark outside or the weather is bad.

The day time running lights are a Canadian standard/requirement, which is why some times you might notice a newer car imported from US that does not have front head lights on during the day.
These lights come on once the engine is running and the parking break has been deactivated, on some cars it may ignore the state of parking break all together, the day time running lights only apply to front lights and have nothing to do with tail lights, this started back in early 90's, my 91 Ford Escort had this and at the time it was just becoming mandatory for manufacturers to install this on their cars. On that car Ford turned on the high beams at a reduced intensity, about 50% power. Later some manufacturers used parking marker/lights to fulfill this requirement and it kept changing to what made the car look good.

What I like on some of the newer cars is the fact that once the driver activates a turn signal, that headlight is turned off to allow you to see and notice the blinking orange light.

Oh, yes, getting angry looks, no kidding, the same driver that I pulled beside, before stopping at the red light I tried to get his attention and flipped me the bird, for no reason whats so ever, lol, so I asked him what the hell was that for? He had no response... It is amazing how quick people are to extend a finger, but it is so difficult to simply say thanks when some one is being cortious to them on the road.

When I'm driving and make a lane change, especially if the other driver had to fall back to allow me to make my lane change safely I make sure to wave and say thanks, my son asked me once why do I do this? I said, because that encourages him/her to keep up that good behavior and attitude, but if you don't, then he will think of you as an ungrateful douche and he will not be so nice to others from then on.

Yes, high beams are another one, backup cameras too and blind spot detection. Each of these nice safety features have their good and bad, it is up to the driver to use them correctly, the manufacturer actually has warnings in the manual, but no one reads a 500 page manual. And that is something the manufacturer needs to work on, reduce the fat and make these manuals readable.

Cheers all


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Decatur
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Unread post by Decatur on

Most people I pull over don't know what a permit looks like, nor an insurance card. (I usually end up,saying "the green pice of paper and the pink one!" How would you expect them to navigate around the dashboard of a car!


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bobajob
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Unread post by bobajob on

another good point, what the hell has happened to courtesy, many years ago, us drivers used to look out for each other, see a leak of water, no brake lights, even warn oncoming cars of speed/cops laying in wait.
now, "screw you", I always give a wave like you and then get thoroughly pi$$ed when the driver doesn't return it, as if it was there right.

On a few occasions I've had waves and return waves, if somone lets me in I'll always either raise my hands of flash the hazzords briefly, seen some trucks also give me a flash, it makes your day, when you see people being nice.

Like yesterday going home on the 401, I was in lane 1, pulling into lane 3, carefully, a car (same make as mine) gave a brief warning beep as he was changing lanes, I had already seen him, BUT, he slowed right down so I could see him
and put his hand up, as if to say , "sorry and thank you" very nice gesture, felt happy driving home.

Maybe as we had same makes but still, I have to believe these douchebag drivers will get there by way of a ticket at some stage
Observer135 wrote: When I'm driving and make a lane change, especially if the other driver had to fall back to allow me to make my lane change safely I make sure to wave and say thanks, my son asked me once why do I do this? I said, because that encourages him/her to keep up that good behavior and attitude, but if you don't, then he will think of you as an ungrateful douche and he will not be so nice to others from then on.
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bobajob
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Unread post by bobajob on

NO WAY !!!!!!!!!!!, you get that....... LOLZ

There should be part of the driving test where you should be able to show some competence/awareness of your car instruments.
How, when, why to put lights on, correct use of fogs,
Decatur wrote:Most people I pull over don't know what a permit looks like, nor an insurance card. (I usually end up,saying "the green pice of paper and the pink one!" How would you expect them to navigate around the dashboard of a car!
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Unread post by bmcdon on

Decatur wrote:Most people I pull over don't know what a permit looks like, nor an insurance card. (I usually end up,saying "the green pice of paper and the pink one!" How would you expect them to navigate around the dashboard of a car!
They may not be able to turn on their hazards or parking lights but I'll bet they can whiz right through the nav/sound/phone systems. I wonder how many people know what all the warning lights are anymore.


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Unread post by bobajob on

bmcdon wrote:
Decatur wrote:Most people I pull over don't know what a permit looks like, nor an insurance card. (I usually end up,saying "the green pice of paper and the pink one!" How would you expect them to navigate around the dashboard of a car!
They may not be able to turn on their hazards or parking lights but I'll bet they can whiz right through the nav/sound/phone systems. I wonder how many people know what all the warning lights are anymore.
^^^^^^^^^^ so true
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* NO you cant touch your phone
* Speeding is speeding
* Challenge every ticket
* Impaired driving, you should be locked up UNDER the jail


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Unread post by Zatota on

Sadly, I've given up on trying to warn drivers their headlights are off. I used to flash my headlights or high beams, but that now typically results in a "We're Number One" salute. If I can pull up beside someone at a light or if the driver actually looks over if I pull up alongside him or her, I'll try to find a way to communicate that his or her lights are off. If I can't get the person's direct attention, I don't bother anymore.

I use my car's automatic headlight feature. It's quite convenient. When there's reduced visibility because of fog or weather, I'll always check to see if the lights have come on (most cars now have a green light on the dash to show that the headlights are on). If they're not, I'll put them on manually. If I had a dollar for all the times the traffic guys on 680 News have reminded drivers to put their "full headlight package" on, I'd be a rich man!

I've heard there's a proposal to eliminate illuminated dashboards because of this problem. If the driver can't see the dashboard, it's time to put the lights on. That's how dashes worked when I started driving; there were far fewer "ghost cars" in those days.


Observer135
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Unread post by Observer135 on

@Decatur
I feel your pain, if it was me, I would look for any excuse just to write more tickets on these types of drivers.

@bmcdon
So true, I bet you are 100% correct.

@bobajob
I too use my hazard light flashing briefly when a trucker lets me in, that is what "professional" truckers do when us 4 wheelers pull back and allow them to make a lane change and they get the signal. You can always and easily tell the difference between a professional truck driver and a "wana be", the lather always follows people too closely and drives aggressively...

I am surprised at all the comments this post has received, interesting.






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