They were honking and flashing, and I didn’t know why: Roadshow

Q: A quick shoutout to the driver of an older Dodge minivan on Highway 17 on Thursday morning. He was flashing his headlights behind me, and I thought he wanted me to pull over so he could pass. I was going with traffic in the fast lane, and that didn’t make sense.

When I arrived at my office, I realized I had a nearly completely flat right rear tire. Obviously he was trying to alert me. I want to thank him for his attempt. I regret I didn’t pick up on his signal.

Do you or your readers have any suggestions for alerting a driver to such a hazard?

Peter Gallagher, Campbell

A: I do, but first there’s more to your story

Q: After replacing the damaged tire with the spare, I took the flat to a shop. There was one other customer waiting, who had seen me earlier on Interstate 880 and tried to alert me by blowing his horn. Same intent to warn me, but a different approach from the first guy.

It makes me feel good that there are others out there willing to try to help out another motorist.

Lesson learned: Even if your tire pressure monitoring system has “cried wolf” on you several times, as mine has, don’t ignore it!

Peter Gallagher

A: It’s good to hear they were trying to help you. As a signal, honking can confuse other drivers and possibly lead some to road rage, unfortunately. Flashing your lights quickly and frequently usually works better.

Q: I’m Wayne Meyer’s sister. Wayne is the guy who met his future wife in a driver’s ed class in high school. You asked what kind of driver he is. I say he’s an aggressive driver but no accidents.

He is almost 9 years older than I am. Once when I was little, riding in the back seat of his car, I overheard him say he thought his rear end was going out. Every time I got in his car I rode in fear the back of his car would fall off with me in it.

Christine Meyer Kingsland, Milpitas

A: Thanks for the chuckle.

Q: I remember being elated to see in your column that 17/880 through Los Gatos was scheduled to be repaved this summer. But we are in August and there are no signs of work on this stretch. I assume the schedule has slipped, so do you know what the current ETA is?

David Knol, Los Gatos

A: Fear not. Repairs are scheduled in September from Summit Road to at least Lark Avenue.

Join Gary Richards for an hourlong chat noon Wednesday at Look for Gary Richards at, or contact him at or 408-920-5335.

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Author: Gary Richards