Have you ever driven on the Anthony Henday during a snowstorm and found yourself cursing at drivers who have conveniently forgotten to turn on their headlights? You’re probably not the only one. During snow storms and rainy days, driving without the use of your headlights can be dangerous, especially when visibility is low. Most drivers know to turn their low beam headlights on at night so that other drivers can see them clearly. In fact, newer vehicle models automatically switch to low beams when you drive in low light conditions. Unfortunately, while most drivers understand that the use of their low beam headlights is important, there are still people who don’t know when to properly use their headlights.
The Headlights on Your Car
If you’re under the impression there are only three or four key lights on your vehicle, you’d be wrong. While there are only three areas on your vehicle where lights appear, there are several different lights within those sections drivers will frequently use. To keep it simple, we’ll only be focusing on a vehicle’s headlights.
- Daytime Running Lights
Daytime running lights are located at the front and the back of your vehicle. During the day, where there’s an acceptable amount of light to help guide you on the road, your daytime running lights should turn on automatically. These lights are supposed to be dim and aren’t meant to illuminate the road for you, but they do help make you more visible to other drivers. However, an issue that often arises with daytime running lights is some models have extremely bright daytime running lights which only irritate other drivers on the road.
When to use your daytime running lights:
- During the daylight hours, when you are able to see clearly
The headlights on your vehicle are located at the front of your car, allowing you to see what’s in front of you. There are two types of headlights that drivers utilize. The low beam headlights distribute light to provide sufficient forward and lateral illumination. This allows drivers to see what’s ahead but won’t blind oncoming drivers. Alternatively, high beams are brighter and more intense. These lights cover a greater distance and allow drivers to see further ahead. However, high beams also have an excessive glare, making it difficult for drivers in front of you to see. Your high beams should only be used when there are no visible vehicles around you.
When to use your low and high beams:
- At night
- On rural or poorly lit roads
- During the day when there’s extreme weather
Not all vehicles come equipped with fog lights, as many rely on the low and high beams to provide vision while driving through fog. Fog lights are normally located near the headlights and are often mounted lower to cut through the fog. With regular headlights, fog tends to send the light coming from your vehicle back at you, making visibility difficult. Fog lights should not be used during the daytime or at night when there’s no fog as they’re not effective and your regular headlights will be far more helpful.
When to use your fog lights:
- When fog prevents visibility
There are many factors to consider when deciding which type of headlight will work best in your favour. As you get used to driving in different weather conditions, it will become easier to discern which light will provide you with the best visibility. If you have any questions regarding your vehicle’s headlights, feel free to contact St. Albert Honda. We’ll be happy to assist you!