Imagine you were driving through the stark beauty of Texas hill country. Before setting out, you probably would have looked at maps, determined your itinerary, and looked for things to do along the way. You’re set. Or are you? One common driving custom that varies from place to place is the headlight flash, and knowing what it means to see flashing lights in your rearview mirror could be valuable on your next Texas adventure.
Turn On Your Headlights
In many states, including Texas, it is normal for people to flash their headlights to other motorists to signal that they need to turn on their headlights. This most often happens in urban areas, as lighting is plentiful, and many drivers aren’t aware their headlights are off. Rural drivers also use this signal to help make other motorists aware of their headlights.
Another reason a motorist may flash their headlights in Texas is to warn oncoming drivers that a speed trap is in place. Some states ruled that this is an unlawful practice, however, in Texas, it is within your full legal rights. If you have a lead foot, you may want to become more vigilant of other driver’s warnings.
If you’re doing a ton of interstate driving in Texas, which is almost certainly the case, drivers in your rearview often flash their lights. This is particularly true of 18-wheelers. The reason they are flashing their headlights is to let you know that it’s alright to change lanes. Many times this is a surefire way to avoid an accident in inclement weather or fog, as visibility is significantly lower.
There’s tons of folklore about people flashing their lights to notify a driver that there’s someone in the backseat. In addition, there’s also been stories about stalkers or killers flashing their headlights. If you responds in kind, that makes you their next target. While this is an unlikely scenario, it does take place in a number of horror films, like the remake of the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”.
Because Texas has so many desolate highways away from people, there’s lots of wildlife that runs across the highway. One way to get the animal to leave the road is by either flashing your lights or honking your horn. Most of the time this gets them to move, and as a result, you pass freely and unimpeded.
One other reason for headlight flashing in Texas is to let other motorists know that there’s a disabled vehicle blocking the road. To avoid it, slow down, and make certain that there’s no car on the road. That way, you’ll avoid catastrophe.
If you’re traveling through Texas, feel free to use headlight flashing as you would your horn, as a way to get other motorists’ attention and communicate potential driving obstacles and other information. You’re also free to warn others of police activity, and you can do so freely not just in Texas, but nationwide. These tips can help you make the most of your next trip through the great state of Texas.