High beam headlights must be provided at night, whenever you’re can not to see sufficient of the road ahead to journey safely.

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Low visibility at night have the right to be scary for even the most experienced drivers. Why is driving ~ dark much more dangerous? 90 percent that a driver’s reactions rely on acute vision, including depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision, every one of which come to be severely limited at night. High-beam headlights shine in ~ an edge to illuminate the road 350 to 400 feet ahead or about twice as far as short beams. (Remember the 68 mph equals about 100 feet every second. When you take trip at highway speeds at night, short beams may provide you just a 2nd or two to react to a hazard.)

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While high beams help keep girlfriend safe, they can also endanger other motorists if you use them incorrectly. All states have laws inquiry you come dim her high-beam headlights whenever there is a hazard of blinding other drivers. The exact distance different from state come state, yet typically, high beam headlights have to not be supplied within 500 feet of one approaching car or in ~ 200 or 300 feet of another vehicle you’re following.

When to use High-Beam Headlights to stay Safe


Low visibility in city areas

You may uncover yourself steering on a dark city street, on one unfamiliar road, or in a building zone. The unnerving come realize the you’re can not to check out the roadway ahead. When your vision is impaired, sluggish down. If there space no various other vehicles nearby, revolve on your high beams. Your high beams will also protect pedestrians and also bicyclists who may be top top the next of the road or crossing in prior of you. In metropolitan areas, state law commonly requires you come dim high beams within 300 to 1000 feet of approaching vehicles. Girlfriend must additionally dim them within 200 come 300 feet that vehicles you’re following, particularly at avoid signs and also traffic lights.

Interstate highways

Visibility on part interstate highways or their on- and off-ramps may be poor. There might be long stretches of roadway that are just illuminated by your headlights. In those low-visibility conditions, use your high-beam headlights to rise your viewing range. However, dim her high beams as soon as you’re near other vehicles, even on separated highways. Examine with your neighborhood DMV for the precise distance her state requires. When you’re approaching another vehicle native behind on an interstate highway or in ~ a toy fee plaza or rest area, always dim your high beams to stop blinding the driver.

Rural areas and country roads with few streetlights

On rural roads and open highways, street lighting might be sparse, which can make driving more treacherous ~ dark. Your high-beam headlights will let you watch farther down the road. In rural areas, high beams also help you protect against hitting animals, bicyclists, or pedestrians taking a late-evening stroll. While nation roads may show up deserted, be ready to conveniently dim her high beams because that approaching traffic or as soon as you approach an additional vehicle from behind. By dimming her high beams, you will do it be protecting other drivers.

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When not to use your high-beam headlights


Don"t usage your high beams when driving in fog, rain, or snow

Never usage your high-beam headlights when you room driving in fog, rain, or snow. In such conditions, they deserve to make your vision also worse. High beams will shine directly into the fog or precipitation, which will certainly reflect the bright light back to you. Throughout snowstorms, snowflakes and also ice crystals will reflect even an ext light ago to you. The dangerous result is a wall surface of glare, which will certainly make it even more challenging for friend to view the road.