questionswhat are reasons why people will flash high-beams…

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The only other obvious answer that I know of is to warn someone of something, such as an accident or stopped traffic ahead, animals in the road, or speed traps.

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Maybe he was like "Hey, you know what would be funny... ?"

I flash my headlights only when there is a cop shooting radar and I want to warn other drivers so they don't get a ticket. I don't care who you are, getting a ticket sucks

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@capguncowboy: Around here if a cop sees you flashing a warning to a passing vehicle they immediately pull out and pull you over. I've yet to receive a ticket but I have been warned and told that alerting other drivers of police presence is 'not allowed'.

That being said I also try to warn passing drivers... I just make sure to be completely out of sight of the cop first!

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If they were periodically flashing their high beams at you, it sounds like they wanted to pass you. Once you pulled off, they went along their merry way.

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Tail lights out. I've seen a lot of vehicles lately with no lights on their backside.

Of course, they might have just been idiots.

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@thelarch: I don't think the cops can really do anything to you about warning other drivers about speed traps. (At least here in PA I don't believe they're able to ticket you for it.) That of course doesn't mean they won't try to find something else to ticket you for.

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@woadwarrior: That's what I figured too. The cops here in MA will pull you over and then check inspection sticker, seatbelt, lights, etc. If everything checks out then it's a warning and on your way... Something not quite right? Expect the ticket.

Like I said though, they'll pull you over if they see you flashing a warning. After that your fate is in their hands.

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When behind you on a rainy day it can just be an illusion. Bumps in the road and puddles of water can create it. That doesn't explain the guy in front of you, however.

I've found opposing traffic with lower cars than mine often flash like maniacs, obviously thinking I have my beams on. I understand that can be frustrating, but I drive a damn Camry... If you have a car lower than that, get used to it. :p

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I drive a lifted Jeep, so I commonly get people flashing their brights at me because the think I have my brights on, but I don't. It's annoying to me, but really annoying to them when I flash my brights back.

I will turn my lights off and on really quick to remind people they don't have their lights ON...I really don't know how you could drive in the dark like that anyways.

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@thelarch: Must be something local to your area. (Or one cop.) I'm in MA and I've never heard of a cop pulling someone over for that.

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Agreed on the thing about cops and animals.

Besides that, I've noticed people with the xenon lights sometimes look like they're flashing them whenever they go over a small bump in the road.

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I flash opposite traffic when I've seen animals attempting to cross the road (not the chicken), but usually deer, groups of geese or duck families.

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They are douche bags. If a car is behind you and flashing their brights its because they feel they are entitled and everyone should get out of their way.

Cars driving towards you there could be many reasons (headlights off, cop ahead slow down etc.) but anyone behind you flashing their brights is just saying "I'm more important then you get the #@&* outa my way!"

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@woadwarrior: just to put my two cents in, it is commonly a traffic violation to flash your highbeams in the absence of a reasonable need to warn someone of your presence. Similar to the rule against using your horn when there is no reasonable need to warn someone of your presence. Tickets usually run $50 and are not moving violations requiring traffic school. This is of course subject to local statute, and may not be present in your area. Also, police may not enforce it if they don't know of the law, or just don't feel that it deserves a ticket.

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The supreme court ruled that flashing your headlights to warn other drivers of a speedtrap is not a fineable offense, as it's covered under freedom of speech.

However, you're right. They'll find other ways to punish you. Make sure your insurance is up to date along with all the vehicle requirements, and that your seatbelt is fastened before doing so. I normally wait until I'm past the car and they can't see my headlights.

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Flashing our lights is one of the few ways we have to communicate with people in other cars, so it really can be just about anything.

That said, when someone behind you flashes their brights repeatedly, just get out of the way if it's possible. It's not that you need to go faster, it's that they need to go faster. Just assume they have a woman in labor on the way to the hospital, and move. That way you don't have to waste energy on getting mad. :D

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@thelarch: That actually happened quite a bit down here in Florida. The police were handing out tickets for flashing lights. Well, it was taken to court and the people won. So, at least down here, they are not allowed to issue tickets.

I have people flash their high beams at me all the time driving my truck, especially at this one intersection where the stop line is on a slight incline while the other side is flat.

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@thelarch: The supreme court ruled that flashing your highbeams to alert others about a speed trap is one's right to free speech. The cops cannot ticket you without it ultimately being tossed. At any rate, around Chicago, you're either in the left lane going too slowly, someone oncoming has their brights on, or you're signaling that you saw a speed trap.
Those are the main 3 that I encounter most often.

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Maybe the road was bumpy. I've thought someone was flashing me before only to realize it was the road

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The Most common answers have already been said, especially about the halogen and xenon lights that have a different style lenses, often those bumps put their lights up in the air etc. maybe the person behind you wasn't sure if both of their own lights were working and they bumped em to test, or maybe they thought they knew you? Maybe your brake lights aren't working?

I have noticed at least for the oncoming vehicle scenario is headlights misaligned, especially in older cars, someone might have played with the alignment screws trying to figure out how to get to replace the bulb and never reset the alignment , so one or both of your headlights could be aiming slightly up giving the illusion to the other driver your high beams are on,

I have also loaded large amounts of cargo in my trunk, or had bad rear shocks and had rear passengers, and had on coming traffic flash their lights at me, because my vehicle is not level, thus my focused low beams are aiming upward and into their eyes.

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@capguncowboy: lol yea i can see the guy behind him and the guy going by the other way conspiring with each other on walkie talkies... GOT HIM GOOD HAR HAR HAR

i normally don't flash for other drivers in speed traps but I may for a dui / license checkpoint.
reason for that is cuz people like the OP have no idea why I'm blinking my lights so why risk getting pulled over and have all my info rigorously checked and all that time wasted.

plus nobodys ever blinked for me before i've gotten a speeding ticket. why should i them?

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People may also flash their high beams to tell you that YOUR high beams are on and you need to turn them off because they're blind.

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@stupimlico: If your vehicle is lifted so high that people think your high beams are on don't you think you should realign your lights so that they function properly and don't impair the vision of other drivers. If the problem is that common you should probably do something about it. This also happens with the tools who install xenon/halogen bulbs in non projector housings so their light cutoffs aren't proper and always appear as high beams.

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Inept user of windshield wipers?
Grabbing the wrong control stick to adjust them and ending up flashing people?

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I've been flashed because people don't think I should be on the road. I drive a 'wimpy' stratus, so as soon as we have heavy snow I sometimes get people in trucks flashing me simply because they feel they need to warn me that the roads are "too dangerous" for a car like mine.

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@cstlfx: Was that a state supreme court decision? If not, then it's not clear whether the ruline affects all jurisdictions in the state or just in one or two.

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@magic cave: I think you are correct insofar as it wasn't a SCOTUS ruling. There have been court challenges in a number of states, and it seems as though flashing ones headlights to warn about a speed trap is protected under the first amendment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headlight_flashing#Legality

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I'll add two more:

1) You are a tall vehicle and your headlight is directly in their line of sight. It's so bright, they think your high beams are on.

2) You installed "blue" (ultrabright) headlights in a car that doesn't have the necessary safety features to prevent blinding other drivers. This is illegal in many states.

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If the road was bumpy or they were driving a car with very stiff, or broken, suspension it can look like they are flashing you as the front of the car bounces up and their headlights are suddenly pointing at you instead of the road and then gravity says "no you don't" and hauls it back down again.

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@stupimlico: I guess you already covered this topic. You are BLINDING other drivers. It's inconsiderate and you really need to adjust your headlamp housing to direct the light more downward. You've already modded your vehicle, so what's wrong with a little more?

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@dcalotta: Thank you for the link. I especially like this reason police use for ticketing: "(1) laws prohibiting a person from obstructing a police investigation." I just have to hope that one would fall easily and quickly since there a speed trap wouldn't normally be considered an "investigation."

What a circus of decisions, rulings, and overturned rulings.

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I've flashed people to warn them of an accident around the bend.

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I flash my lights if people are driving in the left lane and I am trying to use that lane to pass cars going slower than the flow of traffic.
If it is raining, I really don't pass vehicles cause its dangerous when wet.

A lot of people have the HID lights and its annoyingly bright. My lights are really dull so I just ordered some new ones. I realized that there are many kinds of lights and just because they are blue doesnt mean they are brighter. There are warmths to colors that go from yellow, to white, to blue, all the way to purple. But it really depends on if they have the conversion HID kit on their lights cause that will make them 3 times brighter. I get annoyed by the HID lights cause those cars on "normal" are brighter than my high beams! And Yes I will flash you if you blind me from an on coming lane :-p

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@omnichad: @jagg3d3d93: I actually have adjusted my headlights to the proper height, I also have my vehicle inspected yearly (as required by law in my area). My Jeep probably isn't lifted as you are imagining, I probably sensationalized it a little to bring home my point. Another strike against me is that I live in a very hilly area, often times I have lights right in my face just as much. I'd venture to say I wouldn't have people flashing their lights at me if I lived in Northeastern Ohio or Nebraska. And finally, I really do care about other drivers, if I'm blinding someone who is driving right at me, I'm endangering myself as much as them. I do appreciate your concern and your suggestion.