The Auto Meter 9105 ecometer Fuel Consumption Gauge works great but when driving at night I started to experience a slightly distracting problem. A reflection of the guage’s display was very visible higher up the windshield. This was probably aggravated by the fact that I have it placed directly on my dash, which curves up and thus causes the guage to be at more of an angle than if it was sitting flat.
I’ve managed to reduce the amount that is reflected, and could eliminate it further with a small modification, by building an extension of the guage’s hood. I lucked out and was able to find some black vinyl just sitting around (I originally asked a friend if he had some black construction paper but he had something better – vinyl), which I affixed to the hood of the guage with electrical tape to extend it out. This little trick seems to have been a significant improvement when driving at night.
I should have posted this one a very long time ago. Reviewing another post reminded me that not everyone traveling through will know this. It you drive through the South, especially in Alabama, and you’re not from the region then it may seem a bit strange your first time.
The answer isn’t a major mystery.
They’re just being friendly.
Wave back, if you have a chance. It doesn’t require a big wave. Raising a couple of fingers off the wheel for a second or a nod is just fine.
And don’t worry if you miss it or just don’t feel like waving back. Nobody’s going to turn around and corner you (that’s a form of thought caused by very bad movie stereotypes).
So others can pass without waiting for a normal passing zone.
If you’re driving in that part of the country and someone starts riding the shoulder they are probably trying to signal for you to do the same. Unlike the area where I live, those roads have shoulders that are almost a full lane width and are paved the same as the regular lanes.
It may seem unusual, but it’s considered common courtesy in such areas to ride the shoulder to allow the vehicle behind to pass. My guess is this came about because traveling the desert roads often involves a lot of distance – nobody wants to be stuck behind a slower vehicle for a long time. The availability of safe passing areas without riding the shoulder varies.
A common signal that someone wants you to drive on the shoulder is simply that they’re riding close on your rear. Basically, any time a vehicle is moving as though it’s ready to pass is usually a clear indicator.
It should go without saying that common sense applies when performing this maneuver. For example, in any place where the shoulder narrows or there are guardrails are bad locations. In addition, it’s wise to make sure that the shoulder itself is clear of obstructions. And, as usual, if it seems risky at the speed limit then just let off the gas a bit once you’re over.
While I don’t know if this is officially sanctioned, I can testify that I witnessed a highway patrol vehicle do this very thing in order to allow us to pass, while he slowed down for unknown reasons.