When Should You Use Your Car Headlights


A lot of people choose to take their driving lessons during the day, which means that they often end up with very little practical knowledge when it comes to using their headlights. Of course, this is something that your driving instructor will cover with you, but it still helps to have a resource available should you need it.

Here we will look at some of the main situations that you will encounter that will require you to use your headlights, in addition to some tips about which ones to use.

In Fog

You have fog lights in your car for a reason, so they should be your first port of call when the weather is foggy. However, they are not the only lights that you need to be using.

Of course, you should avoid using your main beam headlights, because fog works in mysterious ways and will often reflect that light back towards you and dazzle you. This is not an ideal situation to be in when you are trying to negotiate difficult conditions. Instead, use your dipped headlights so that other cars can see you coming from a greater distance, without you having to blind yourself to do so.

At Night Or On Days With Poor Visibility

You will most commonly use your headlights during the night or on days where visibility is particularly poor for whatever reason.

In these cases it’s really going to depend on the road that you’re driving on. You should use your main beams on any roads that are unlit or poorly lit, dipping them whenever you see another road user coming to make sure that you don’t dazzle them and create a potential situation for an accident.

When you are in traffic, you should also be sure to keep your headlights dipped for the same reason.

Finally, if you are in a built up area and the lighting from street lights and the like is fairly good, you should dip your headlights again for the same reasons.

Heavy Snow And Rain

On top of all of the other considerations that you need to make in these conditions in regards to your actual driving, you also need to ensure that you get your headlights right. In these cases you want to make sure you are as visible as possible, in addition to being able to see where you are going. Try to use main beams until you see another road user, when you should dip them. Many people fail to do this though, so try to avoid looking directly into the headlights of any oncoming traffic.

General Tips

Always dip headlights earlier on a left hand bend, as main beams will dazzle anybody taking the bend on the opposite side of the road.

Never leave your headlights switched on when parked, as people may think that a driver is present and react accordingly.

Extra weight in the back of your vehicle may cause the angle of your beams to change, so try to account for this.

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