Over the past couple of weeks, there have a fair number of occasions where I thought someone was going to back out of a parking spot while I was approaching. Of course, I stopped to avoid get hit, but then I noticed that the driver is out of the car and walking toward the store.
Maybe I just haven’t been all that observant before, but what seems to be happening is that the clear reverse/backup lights on the rear of the vehicle are being turned on as a sort of courtesy light. My truck, for instance, leaves the headlights on for a minute after I lock the doors, which I assume is to illuminate my surroundings as I leave the vehicle. It’s a logical extension of the same principle to use the reverse lights for this purpose as well.
The problem is, reverse lights already mean something: the vehicle is in reverse. Moreover, when the reverse lights are used as courtesy lights, the brake lights and other tail lights are not on. What that means to me is: the vehicle is in reverse, AND the brakes have been released. In other words, “I’m coming back right now!”
The vehicle I can remember off the top of my head that exhibited this behavior was a Pontiac Torrent SUV. I don’t remember what the other vehicles were. Does anyone know what’s going on? This feature just seems like a really poor choice to me.
On a totally unrelated note, I’m going to wire my turn signals to flash with the beat any time my car stereo is on.