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When to Use Headlights in New York

It’s a common misconception that the only time drivers are supposed to use their headlights is when it’s dark outside. Believe it or not, headlights have several uses and they can do a lot to protect your safety, the safety of your passengers, and other roadway users.

Headlights not only help you see but when road or weather conditions are hazardous, they also help other drivers see you. Think about it...when it’s foggy, raining, snowing, or when a car is on a winding road, or when the dust is blowing on a windy day and affecting visibility, headlights can do a lot to help drivers see each other and enhance safety.

When It’s Smart to Use Your Headlights

Always use your headlights under these conditions:

  • Frosty mornings
  • When it’s dark
  • Before the sun rises
  • As the sun sets
  • When it’s raining
  • When it’s foggy
  • When there is ice on your windows
  • When you’re driving on a small country road
  • When you’re driving on a mountain road

Even though you should always turn on your headlights in the above conditions, it’s actually smart to use them at all times, even during the day when it’s sunny outside. Why? Because your headlights aid other drivers so they can see your vehicle better – this helps avoid a head-on crash.

“Most studies done around the world have concluded that daytime running lights can decrease collisions by anywhere from 5 to 10 percent. This data is convincing enough that, in many countries, all automobiles sold are legally required to have DRLs installed. Canada, Norway, and Sweden are some of the many countries who abide by this law,” according to idrivesafely.com.

In New York, drivers are required by law to turn headlights on 1/2 hour after the sun sets and 1/2 hour before the sun rises. They are also required to use them when the windshield wipers are in use when the visibility is less than 1000 feet, when there is bad weather, and when there is insufficient light.