When is the last time you thought about maintenance for your lights? That’s right, your headlights. It’s even more important with today’s vehicles that are equipped with daytime running lights and auto sensors. We don’t even have to turn them on ourselves and therefore we may have a hard time noticing when they are not working properly.
Think about it for a second. We depend on our reaction time to make safe decisions while driving and that requires vision, depth perception, and color recognition - all of which are greatly reduced while driving at night. If we can’t see, we can’t react.
So let’s shed some light on this subject. First, make sure your lights are actually working properly. The next time you start your vehicle at night, turn your lights on and off and turn the high beam switch on and off. You should notice a big difference. If you don’t notice a difference, take your vehicle in for service.
It is also a good idea to do this test in front of your garage, a wall or other solid object. This will allow you to make sure that your lights are aligned properly. If the light is not clearly pointing directly in front of your vehicle, your lights may need alignment.
You may have heard the term “don’t overdrive your headlights.” That simply means traveling at the speed at which you would not be able to stop inside the illuminated area. On a clear day with your lights in the normal position, you would be able to see about 160 feet (49 meters) in front of you. Sounds like a lot of space until you consider that at 55 mph (88 km/h) it takes about 230 feet (70 meters) to stop. All the more reason to slow down at night and increase your following distance.
Fog lights are designed to be used in poor visibility conditions like snow; heavy rain or you guessed it….fog! While they do provide some greater visibility of the ground in front of you, fog lights are also designed to make YOU more visible to others on the road.
A good practice to follow is if you can’t see the next street light from the one you just passed, it is time to use your fog lights or stay off the road until visibility improves.
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