Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I was recently stopped at the light at Hoadly Road and Dale Boulevard in Prince William County.

A mid-size business truck stopped behind me, and its headlights were beaming directly into my mirrors.

I adjusted the rearview mirror, but the side mirrors were also catching the glare.

I don't know if the driver saw me flip my rearview mirror to night vision, but he actually turned his headlights down to just his parking lights and left them that way until the traffic light changed, and we were on our way.

It may seem like a small act of kindness, but I definitely appreciated the thought.

Patti Barry


What a nice driver. Wouldn't it be wonderful if others in high vehicles followed his example? I'm glad to know he's out there.

Nearsighted Tailgaters

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I would like to explain to those who complain about tailgaters that they deserve pity because they are so nearsighted. They just don't realize anything is in front of them until they are within a foot of the rear of your vehicle.

Why else would they change from lane to lane when those with normal vision can easily see all lanes are blocked and the lane they were originally in might have been the fastest anyway?

Bill Hill

Lake Ridge

Thanks for the explanation. I knew there must be a reason.

Not All SUVs the Same

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I read with interest your recent columns with readers decrying the width of sport-utility vehicles.

You may want to note that not all SUVs are monsters that take up more than their share of parking spaces. I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee. It is not as wide as my Corvette (72.3 inches compared with 73.6 inches), or a Ford Taurus, for that matter (73 inches).

On the other hand, you have the behemoths like the Ford Excursion at 79.9 inches.

My point: There are SUVs and there are SUVs.

John Drake


Thanks. Good point. But the overwhelming number of complaints about SUVs that I have received dealt with the height of SUVs. People don't like riding behind them because their height blocks a view of the road ahead.

There is more bitterness out there aimed at SUVs than I would have imagined. And it has nothing to do with width.

Transportation researcher Diane Mattingly contributed to this column.

Dr. Gridlock appears Sunday in the Metro section and Thursday in Virginia Extra. You can write to Dr. Gridlock, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. He prefers to receive e-mail, at, or faxes, at 703-352-3908. Please include your full name, town, county and day and evening phone numbers. Dr. Gridlock cannot take phone calls.