When Should You Turn Your Headlights On?
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When Should I Turn on My Headlights?

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Your headlights are one of your vehicle’s most important safety features, and learning how to use them properly can greatly reduce your risk of getting into an auto collision. Even if your vehicle automatically turns on the headlights when the lighting sensors detect minimal lighting, there are still some important uses you should be aware of. The experienced agents from Altra Insurance Services, a premier provider of auto and motorcycle insurance San Diego residents rely on for high-quality service, offer a closer look at the laws regarding headlights and the steps you can take to use them properly whenever you get behind the wheel. 

Dusk & Dawn

Your headlights should be on whenever you’re driving at night, but many people aren’t sure about the laws regarding the use of headlights early in the morning and as the sun is beginning to set. As a general rule, you should turn your headlights on within 30 minutes of the sun setting and keep them on until 30 minutes before the sun rises. 

Your lights should also be turned on if you ever have compromised vision because of limited lighting. If your vehicle is in the shadow of a mountain or going down a canyon, you might need to turn the headlights on well before the sun goes down.

Adverse Weather

In addition to turning your headlights on when there’s minimal lighting, you should also use them during storms that limit your vision. Snow, sleet, dust, and rain can make it extremely difficult to see, and turning on the headlights will help you locate other vehicles and road signs. As a bonus, turning on your headlights during storms will also make you much more visible to other motorists who are struggling with difficult driving conditions.

Road Signage

Whenever you’re out on the road, you must always pay attention to any unique signage along the side of the road. Even if it’s in the middle of the day, your headlights must be on if a road sign indicates it’s a daytime headlight use area. While these signs aren’t particularly common, they can be found all over the country. You’ll typically see daytime headlight signs in areas that have limited visibility because of elevation changes, sharp turns, and other potentially dangerous driving conditions.

State Laws

Before you plan on driving in a new state, spend a little bit of time familiarizing yourself with all of the local driving laws. While driving laws are somewhat consistent throughout the country, many states have unique laws when it comes to the use of headlights. One example is California’s laws regarding turning on your headlights when you’re using windshield wipers. Whenever the driving conditions require the use of windshield wipers, the headlights must be turned on as well. Understanding and following all of those unique state laws will keep you safe and help you avoid expensive traffic tickets.

Knowing when to use your headlights can help you stay safe when you’re driving, whether it’s at night or in unfavorable conditions. If you do have an accident, no matter what time of day, it’s essential to have reliable car insurance. San Diego drivers know they can trust the team from Altra Insurance Services to be there when they need assistance. For a free quote, give us a call today at (619) 404-6311.

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