In Michigan, we're blessed with a lot of traffic signals suspended over intersections on cables, and at considerable height. This makes 'em hard to see -- particularly from something as low-slung as a sports car-- when you're sitting there waiting for the light to change. Keeping track of the green, yellow, and red requires neck contortions more suitable for an ostrich than a human.
Fortunately, the free-enterprise system has once again inspired someone to solve this pain in the neck. It's called LightInSight (513-561-5875; www.lightinsight.com), a wide-angle Fresnel lens made from flexible, optical-grade plastic. It sticks to the inside of the windshield, it's unobtrusive --less than two inches high and seven inches wide-- and it gives you a look at the traffic light without any neck stretching.
It's also cheap" -- $17.50 -- and can be transferred from one vehicle to another.
I bought a souped-up Mini Cooper from a car-enthusiast friend. As I sat for the first time in the driver's seat, I noticed what looked like an irregularity in the top of the windshield. I saw it was a little Fresnel lens. "What's that for?" I asked. "It's the coolest thing," he said. It lets you see when the light turn green without having to crane your neck." Sure enough, it does.
Another friend was riding with me , I peeled it off and gave it to him. While waiting for a replacement I had to bend my neck sideways and lean forward to see the light when I'm first in line. What a pain compared to just sitting back comfortably and waiting for that little red dot in the lens to go green.
The manufacturer says LightInSight works for all kinds of vehicles and is "especially helpful for taller drivers, drivers in smaller cars, delivery vans and trucks, and drivers with a mobility problem, such as a neck or back problem.