How To Use Car Lights To Stay Safe & Legal

Car Lights

Vehicle lights are required by law to function properly while you are driving. If you fail to use the lights the right way and keep them in proper working condition, you can easily find yourself racking up points on your license, fines, or even convictions.

Besides the penalties, using the wrong lights at the wrong place and time can be dangerous for you as well as other road users. If you want to use your lights the right way and avoid getting into trouble with the law, here are some effective steps to stay safe when you are driving.

  1. Know Your Headlights

The headlights are designed to help you see better at night and help other drivers to see you when driving in foul weather or low-light conditions. It is important for drivers to know when to use both the high and low beams to avoid blinding other drivers.

When to Use Low beams

Low beams are typically used when driving in low light conditions or at night. Other instances when you should use low beams include when driving through tunnels, during periods of bad weather, and when driving in foggy conditions.

Low beams are required by the law in some states even during the day to improve visibility when approaching other drivers. Newer vehicle models also use daylight running lights that help improve visibility during the daytime.

You can be pulled over by law enforcement officers if the vehicle you are driving has non-functioning low beam headlights. Common penalties associated with this offence include a ticket with a fine, a fix-it ticket, or a verbal warning.

When to Use High Beams

High beams are designed to offer better visibility under certain conditions. You can activate high beams by pushing forward on the lever used for the turn signals. It is important to ensure that there aren’t any motorists ahead of you or oncoming motorists when using high beams since they can momentarily bling other drivers.

If you encounter another motorist whose high beams are one, you should look towards the shoulder of the road until they have passed or flip the rearview mirror into the night position if a driver with their high beams in approaches your vehicle from behind when you are driving.

  1. Know the Turn Signals

The turn signals play a very critical role of letting the motorists around you know of what your intentions on the road are. If you know how to operate the turn signals properly, other drivers will know whether you plan to turn right or left.

When to Use the Turn Signals

The switch for the turn signals is found on the steering column. To activate it, push the lever up for a right turn or down for a left turn. The turn signal should click off automatically once you have made the turn.

A malfunctioning turn signal will make the turn signal start blinking faster in some vehicle models. If you have a non-functioning turn signal, law enforcement officer can pull you over. Actions include anything from a ticket with a fine, to a fix-it ticket, to a verbal warning.

  1. Understand the Brake Lights

The brake lights are important during the night or day. Driving with non-functioning brake lights is not only dangerous but can also lead to you being pulled over by law enforcement and ticketed if you are ever caught with the brake lights not functioning.

Using the Brakes During the Day

Brake lights work during the day and are activated once you press the brake pedal. It helps the drivers behind you know that you are stopping. The ford f150 led lighting should stay on as long as you are pressing the brake pedal.

Using the Brakes During the Night

It is particularly important to have properly functioning brake lights when driving at night. At night, visibility is usually quite low and it is sometimes hard to see a vehicle that has stopped/stalled in the dark.  Brake lights have been designed to illuminate if the headlights are turned on and their brightness intensifies when the brake pedal is pressed.

Understand the Reverse Lights

Vehicles also come equipped with reverse lights that indicate when the vehicle is in reverse. The lights come on when you engage the reverse gear to illuminate what’s behind the vehicle you are driving.

  1. Understanding the Fog Lights

Fog lights are found in some vehicles and are designed to improve visibility when you are driving in foggy conditions. If the vehicle you are driving comes equipped with fog lights, you should know when to and when not to use them for optimal visibility.

When to Use Fog Lights

It is important to know when to use fog lights. While fog lights are not required by law, they help to increase visibility significantly when driving in foggy conditions. However, they shouldn’t be use if there’s no fog present since they can blind other drivers temporarily.

  1. Understand the Hazard Lights

Hazard lights are designed to warn other road users of a hazard. The lights should be used in different situations including when there’s a hazard on the road ahead or when the vehicle you are driving breaks down.

Using Hazard Lights During a Breakdown

If your vehicle breaks down, you should try to get it off the road if possible. Turn on the hazard lights to alert other drivers to your presence. You will find the switch for the hazard light somewhere visible on the dashboard or on the steering column.

Using Hazard Lights to Warn of a Hazard Ahead

Besides highlighting problems with your vehicle, you can also use hazard lights to warn the drivers behind you of a hazard on the road ahead. For instance, if you come across a wreck in foggy conditions. In such a situation, you should get off the roadway and then turn the hazard lights on.

The Bottom Line

If you know when and how to use the lights in your vehicle, you will ensure that other motorists, you, and your passengers are safer. It is also critical to ensure that your vehicle’s lights are always in proper working condition to avoid getting into trouble with the law. Follow the tips discussed here for using your vehicle lights the right way and you will have an awesome driving experience.

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