When am I Supposed to Use My Headlights?
Simply because someone passes their driving exam does not mean that they now have a vivid recall of every single rule of the road. For example, a lot of New Mexico drivers are probably uncertain of the state’s laws regarding headlight usage. Most modern cars are equipped with automatic headlights. This is a feature that makes it completely unnecessary for the driver to ever having to think about turning their headlights off and on. Even with this sort of technology routinely at our fingertips, it is still essential for responsible drivers to be familiar with the state’s laws.
Here in New Mexico, anyone who is operating a motor vehicle is required to turn their vehicle’s headlights on in all of the below-listed scenarios:
- When it is nighttime, which is defined as half an hour after the sun sets
- When it is early morning, which is defined as half an hour before the sun rises
- While experiencing any type of inclement weather, like thunderstorms
- Whenever the driver’s visibility is limited to less than 500 feet, no matter what the reason (fog, smoke, sleet, snow, etc.), the headlights are required to be turned on
Appropriate headlight use is a critical factor when it comes to decreasing your odds of being involved in a car accident. Head and rear lights on a car are vital safety features that are often taken for granted. This is truly unfortunate because they have the capacity to save people’s lives. The high-beam function on your headlights is only to be used when your car is not in the vicinity of any other cars. A rural roadway is a good example of a time it would be appropriate to use your high-beams.
Don’t forget to dim or lower your car’s headlights if you see another vehicle come within 500 feet of you, you are following within 200 feet of another vehicle, and if you are driving in any kind of smoke, rain, fog, or snow. When it’s nighttime, headlights from an oncoming vehicle could easily create a glare bright enough to significantly reduce the driver’s visibility even if the vehicle’s high-beams are not being used. If you are driving after dark on roads you are not familiar with, you need to exercise caution and drive slowly.
Additional ways to make sure that you are driving safely could include checking to see if your car’s headlights are in good working condition. Ensuring that the lenses are clean and clear, as well as properly aligned and set at the right height will keep them in optimal working order. You may also want to consider the type and strength of the lightbulbs that you are using. The windshield of your car also needs to be cleaned regularly since working headlights are futile if you are unable to even see clearly out of your windshield.
These ideas will hopefully sound obvious to most people, but using a vehicle’s headlights improperly is enough to cause a car accident that should have been avoidable. One of the best ways to prevent an accident is to make sure your car is adequately maintained before you take it out for a drive. Poor driving conditions and low visibility are not factors that will negate your liability in a car accident, so taking the time to make sure that your vehicle is prepared now can save you a world of trouble later on.
If you have been injured in a car accident in the Albuquerque area, it is vital that you contact the law offices of Will Ferguson & Associates as soon as you can. Our accomplished car accident attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure that you recover any economic losses that you sustained pertaining to the accident.
Navigating the legal system can be an arduous and uphill battle, and we are here to see to it that you do not have to go through any of this ordeal on your own. If you would like a free, confidential consultation with one of our car accident attorneys, give us a call at (505) 243-5566 today.