How to Use Vehicle Lighting Safely

Feb 2015

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Vehicle lighting is supposed to guide the drivers, to enable them to see the road and other users to avoid accidents. How is it possible for lighting to be a hazard? Three words: inadequate, dazzle, and distract. These are the three problems which ae faced by most drivers. Keeping that in mind, the following lines are going to give you some tips on how you can drive safely.

Alignment and Maintenance

In order to make driving easier, make sure that the lights are not misaligned, not even slightly. Additional lamps (e.g. LED light bars) should be fitted in pairs, and in accordance to requirements for driving lamps. Seeing how normal servicing does not include alignment of lights, have them checked and re-aimed if need be. Also, with regular maintenance, you can ensure that the lenses are kept free of dirt and road grime so that it does not affect the light’s output in any way.

The Correct Use

Not everyone is familiar with the rules of using the different lights of their vehicles, particularly so if their pre-owned vehicle has come fitted with additional lights.
Fog lights, with their low, flat, and fan-shaped beam have been designed for enhancing the visibility where it’s been reduced by weather conditions. While the rear fog lights have to emit a red light, those in front can be either yellow or white. That being said, they are not to be wired independent of headlights and should not be used at other times as they can blind other drivers.
Driving lights, on the other hand, should emit a white light and must be wired to work only when the headlights have been switched to high-beam, to provide for an intense and long projection down the road. Headlamps are to be used on high beam only when there are no vehicles coming towards or in front of you at night and on the open road. However, if a driver is within 200 meters of another vehicle/person, it is important for the headlamps to be switched to low beam.
Another type, daytime running lights, are activated automatically at the time the engine is running to increase the vehicle’s visibility during daytime.

Driving Tips

If there are too many lights switched on simultaneously or are set as too bright, they may become a problem to others. Illuminated signs or decorative lights can be as much of a distraction as overshadowing ones (e.g. indicator lights). Slow down if you are the one who’s dazzled by another vehicle and try to keep your focus on the edge of the road. Check and set the day/night positions for your interior mirrors too.
Respect other drivers as well as ensure your own safety too by using the vehicle lighting options smartly.