Every once in a while, something will happen to me and I’ll think, “I read about this on someone’s website once, and so what I should do is X.” Maybe I can return the favor now.
If you are driving at night and the car in front of you suddenly bobs and weaves to avoid the flying tarpaulin that then wraps itself around the headlight-area of your car, the very first thing you should determine is if you have enough available light – from the headlights of the car around you, moonlight, street lighting, nearby businesses – and space to pull over IMMEDIATELY. Not a great spot, not even a good spot, just a spot not technically in a lane and not down a hill or into a lake or something.
If there is no ambient light, and you slow and try to pick out a really good place to pull over, you will lose the headlights of the surrounding cars and will no longer be able to see the edge of the road. Or the road itself. When it is truly dark out – we forget this sometimes – it is really really freaking dark. Furthermore, if you hit your hazards and have a poorly-engineered dashboard arrangement, the blinking of your hazard lights will so light up the inside of the windshield that you will not be able to see the ghosts of lines on the road.
Should that happen, since you’ve got the road more or less to yourself at this point, attempt to get in the middle of the road according to whatever you can see in front of you until you get somewhere that you can see enough of anything to pull over. If you can block the glare with a hand or arm, do that, otherwise turn your hazards on and off as necessary to both see the road and communicate to drivers far behind you that something is wrong.
But, really, pulling over immediately is the thing you should do. I’ve tried the other options. They sucked.
And here’s the other side of the equation: if you see this happen to someone else, HELP THEM. If somebody who saw it happen had just pulled up even with me or behind me, I could have seen where I was going and where to pull over. That thing could have stuck to my windshield as well as my headlights, and I hope that every person who fucked off instead of being useful wakes up in the middle of the night feeling like an asshole.