Automatic headlight problems

I saw the recent comments regarding daylight running lights and difficulty in seeing the indicators, and want to share my experience on automatic headlights.

I have xenon lights on my Ford C-Max that if in auto mode turn themselves on when it gets dark. The feature of these lights, is that when turned on they come on abruptly with a 'flash' - what I mean by that is they turn on but with the beam aimed high, then the auto levelling brings the beam down.

The downside of this became very clear when as passing a busy junction, and it had just started to rain and get overcast, the car on the right pulled out right in front of me. Luckily it was only a 30 zone, but I still felt the ABS and had to steer sharply to the left to avoid a collision.

Because I was now so close to the car in front, I did notice my lights had come on. I can only conclude that my lights coming on as I approached the junction made him think I'd flashed him to pull out. It was a very close call, and I don't leave my lights in auto all the time now. Would be interesting if others have similar issues.

Asked on 27 August 2016 by ML

Answered by Honest John
Never, ever 'flash' anyone out and never accept a 'flashing out' as permission to emerge unless the body language of the other car (slowing right down) makes his intentions plain. In most parts of the world 'flashing' only ever means a warning, which is what it is supposed to men in the UK (Highway Code).
Tags: headlights
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