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When to use your headlights

 

As we inch closer and closer to the longest day of the year, it’s becoming more important than ever that you know how to use your vehicle’s lights properly. Failure to use them correctly can not only put yourself in harm’s way, but other drivers around you.

 

Here’s what you need to know regarding when to use your lights:

 

Nighttime

 

In order to use your lights properly as a nighttime driver, it’s important to balance between being able to see the road ahead, and making sure you’re not blinding other drivers.

 

When using your high beams, remember to switch to low beams when you’re within 150 metres of an oncoming vehicle. You should also use this safety measure when following behind another car.

 

While passing at nighttime is still legal, you should try to avoid it whenever possible. Just because you may be using your lights properly doesn’t mean other cars are, and you could be putting yourself in a very dangerous situation without even realizing it.

 

Also remember that you are legally required to turn on your headlights between 30 min before sunset and 30 min after sunrise.

 

Using them during the day

 

While it’s more pertinent to use your lights at nighttime, there’s no problem with using them during the day if the conditions are poor enough. If it’s foggy, raining hard or you’re trapped in the middle of a snowstorm, it’s a good idea to turn your lights on to ensure that other drivers can see you.

 

Remember that your daytime running lights are not a replacement for your headlights, and should only be used during good lighting conditions.

 

Brake lights

 

If your brake lights aren’t working, it’s in your best interest to get them looked at immediately. Driving with shoddy brake lights can be extremely dangerous for you and anyone around, especially for drivers directly behind you.

 

Not only is driving with a burnt out a brake light a safety issue, but it also could result in a fine should a police officer spot you.

 

Fog lights

 

Using your fog lights isn’t a legal requirement, but it can help others around you, especially motorcyclists.

 

However, make sure to ONLY use your fog lights when it’s actually foggy out. If they’re on when it’s clear out, they can be overwhelming for other drivers.

 

Hazard lights

 

There are no restrictions on using hazard lights in Ontario. However, it’s in your best interest not to use them when you’re driving normally, as they may prevent you from using your turn signals.

 

If traffic is slow, you’re driving well below the speed limit, driving conditions are poor or you’re stopped at the side of the road, you should consider turning your hazard lights on to warm other drivers around you.

 

If you’re leaving the province, make sure to check out other states/provinces laws regarding hazard lights, as they could differ from Ontario’s.