When Should You Use Your Headlights? What You Need to Know
Headlights are a critical part of any car because they let you drive in adverse conditions with visibility issues. Many motorists would be surprised to find out they’re actually legally required to use their headlights at certain times and places. When, exactly, should you be using your headlights? What about high and low beams?
While laws vary based on state and locality, you’re generally required to use your headlights during adverse weather like rain, snow, hail, fog, and sleet. There are some other circumstances where you’re required to use headlights, too.
When Should I Use High Beams/Fog Lights?
Using your high beams instantly boosts visibility, but at the cost of possibly distracting other drivers. For this reason, high beams are usually regulated a bit more strictly. Using high beams when you’re not supposed to can annoy other drivers and possibly even get you pulled over and fined by a law enforcement officer.
High beams are there for a reason, though. You’re usually required to use them under certain conditions where reduced visibility could cause you, pedestrians, other drivers, or animals harm.
These conditions include:
For the most part, you should save your high beams for when you’re driving in poorly lit areas alone, with few drivers or pedestrians around.
When Should I Use Low Beams?
Low beams are the best way to illuminate your surroundings when there are other drivers nearby, or in some extreme visibility conditions like heavy fog, rain, or snow. Using high beams can sometimes actually compromise your vision because much of the light gets reflected back to you in the form of glare.
Low beams are the best type of headlight for most conditions, and you’ll be using them far more often than your high beams. Check the list below for more situations where you should be using your low beam headlights.
Low Beam Conditions Include:
There are several things you can do at home and while you drive that will drastically improve how helpful your headlights are. Below, we detail some tips to help you make the most of your headlights and stay safe in low visibility conditions.
Headlights are a vital part of any car that allows us to drive at night and in poorly lit conditions. You should always pay attention to local headlight laws and advisories that change or affect the way you use your lights and exercise both common sense and caution when driving with lights on.
Featured Image Credit: Oleksiy Mark, Shutterstock