When to safely use your headlights

when to safely use your headlights

When to use your headlights

High-beam headlights are a safety device installed on all cars, yet a surprisingly large number of drivers do not use them. However, correctly using high-beam and low-beam headlights is a simple way of improving your safety.


When to Use 

When to use high-beam or low-beam headlights depends on:

How dark it has become outside

Where other cars are on the road, in reference to where you are

The weather conditions


Low-beam headlights can light-up the road for a distance of aproximatelyt 200 feet. When you cannot see any farther than 200 feet using low-beams, you should switch to your high-beams.



Another vehicle is within 200 feet and/or approaching you from the opposite direction

When you are less than 200 feet behind another vehicle

If heavy rain, fog, or snow are present.


Using high-beams during adverse weather conditions can cause glare, making them unsafe. And any time your high-beams might blind someone on or near the roadway, you should switch back to low-beams. Generally, though, you should use high-beams in both cities and rural roads at night when other vehicles are not present and the weather is fair.


Improved Visibility

High-beams increase your visibility to 350 to 400 feet. 


This increased visibility improves everyone’s safety, any time you are driving on dark streets or highways, especially if pedestrians, bikes, or animals are present. However, do not solely rely on high-beams, and remember to always adjust your driving speed according to the road conditions.


How to Change from Low-Beam to High-Beam

Different makes and models of cars have different methods for switching from low-beam to high-beam and back. In most cases, the mechanism is built into the lever next to the steering wheel, where the headlights are turned on and off.


To change from low-beam to high-beam, simply turn on the headlights and then press the lever with your hand. To change back, simply repeat this action. In some models with lever-activated high-beams, you can press the lever in one direction to flash the high-beams once, and pressing in the other direction turns them on permanently.


High-Beam Assist Technology

Some newer models of cars have a technology called high-beam assist. This feature automatically adjusts the headlights to the correct setting, so you do not have to do anything. Until this technology becomes standard on all cars, cultivating a habit of using high-beam and low-beam headlights correctly will make you safer




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