We were on our way home from my MIL's house last night (multi-state trip, so on the road a while) and on a major interstate (2 lanes in each direction). It was early evening - about 7, so dark but not really late, and we were driving down the highway, about the speed limit, in the left lane passing several semi trucks. The traffic was thankfully not heavy, but as mentioned before, there were several semi trucks in the right of the two lanes going in our directions, so going to that lane wasn't an option for quite a distance. We came up to a car, right as we passed the last of the semis, that was in the left lane, going well below the speed limit (going something like 55 MPH in a 70 zone). The left lane, as is posted all over that road, is a passing zone - you get in it, you pass the slower traffic, and then you get out of it.
DP was taught (and I've heard this from her for years) that if someone is going too slowly in the passing lane, the polite thing (and per her driving test back in the sixties, the law in that state) is that you may flash your lights, twice, and wait for them to pull into the regular lane on the right, and that if someone does that you PULL TO THE RIGHT as soon as it's safe. There was plenty of room for them to pull to the right, and the semis were going slowly enough that there was no way they would have caught up to this car even if they had maintained this slower speed in that lane.
What happened next showed that this car was a super special snowflake. DP flashed the lights, twice, to ask that they get to the right. We were about 3 car lengths back, thankfully, as the guy then slammed on his brakes, almost stopping altogether, then sped back up and swerved into the right lane. We were able to keep control of the car, and tried to let the guy get past us - but the guy kept slowing down. When that didn't work, DP gunned the engine to get past him and get away from the situation, and the guy followed right along with our speed, and then swerved around a car he almost clipped in the right lane, and got in front of us, where he slammed on his brakes AGAIN and then resumed driving very slowly. We had caught up to some cars at that point, and between the road being winding and the increasing amounts of traffic as we got into the city, we got very nervous. We pulled into the right lane, and the guy followed us back to that lane, alternately speeding up and slowing down, trying to get us to 'play his game' - DP took a last second swerve off an exit and we stopped at a gas station to catch our breaths and let the guy get further down the road - he really scared us both. We actually almost caught up to him, though - he actually pulled off the road and was parked with his flashers on a little way down from the exit, and apparently (thankfully!) gave up on us a few seconds before we would have caught him. He was driving a distinctive, white SUV, so we were pretty sure it was him at least.
Undoubtedly this guy was a real jerk, and an SS. However, the inciting incident was what I was wondering about - is a quick, one time headlight flash a big deal? Is it rude? I've never thought it was, and obviously at some point the State of Kentucky didn't, either, since that's where DP got her license back in the sixties. From what I've seen online the legality of it varies wildly, but no where in the southeast US is it illegal, leading me to believe that it's at least somewhat socially acceptable.
Anyone have a different experience?