When to Turn on Headlights

Headlights save lives! The NHTSA estimates that nearly 50% of all traffic-related fatalities occur in dark conditions when only 25% of cars travel during that period. So knowing when to turn on headlights can help save you from getting into a car crash.

Keeping your headlights on all the time, even during the daytime, is not a bad idea considering that it helps make you more visible to other drivers. This is why newer cars come equipped with daytime running lights.

California Headlight Law

In California, the use of headlights is regulated by C.V.C. 24400. This section states that headlights must be used in darkness and/or inclement weather such as fog.

What is Inclement Weather?

  1. A weather condition in which you cannot clearly see another motor vehicle or driver on the highway from 1,000 feet.
  2. When your windshield wipers have to be continuously used due to rain, mist, snow, fog, etc. Read our safety tips on driving in winter

Driving in Fog

If you must drive in heavy fog or smoke, use your low-beam lights.

Driving at Night

Use your high-beam headlights whenever possible in open country or dark city streets, as long as it is not illegal. Dim your high-beam lights when necessary.

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