Ok, backstory time....so....newer cars often have EL-backlit or digital gauges, this means, unlike older cars, the dash is constantly “backlit” and looks the same no matter what light setting the car is currently set to. On older cars, if your lights were off, the gauges were dim, so it was obvious when you didn’t have your lights on.

Which brings me to my point/mini rant - I have seen FAR too many newer cars with their idiotically oblivious owners driving around AT NIGHT or dusk with their lights turned off (except for their DRLs, which are a requirement here in Canada). I assume this is because their dash is constantly lit up and there is no subconscious visual reminder that their lights aren’t on because the dash isn’t dim...?

That being said, there are two things that still really irk me about this - there is an idiot light on most of these modern dashs that tells you the DRLs are on vs. the normal lights (ie:

...the one in the above picture labelled “Lights On”. The picture above is from Honda, but it can be seen here on a Dodge Dart dash as well in the center of the cluster near the temp. and fuel gauges:

Aside from the fact this little light on their dash in bright green isn’t lit up....wouldn’t the noticeably apparent dim-ness / ineffectiveness of your headlights (which are usually your low beams running at half voltage for DRLs or the bright white LEDs a lot of companies like to use nowadays) kindof clue you in to the fact that, you know....it’s sortof dark out and that maybe you should turn that little knob to ON so other people can actually see you....?

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Argh.