Driving at night, or in adverse conditions can be pretty uncomfortable. You may be tempted to flick on your high beams on a foggy road or activate your hazard lights in heavy rain, but that isn’t always the best option. The INFINITI Of South Bay team is here to take the guesswork out of using these features to keep you safe on the road.
When to Use Your High Beams
It seems like a no-brainer to use your high beams any time you can’t see well. On a dark, clear night when you’re away from traffic or populated areas, that’s true. Your high beams can illuminate the road ahead of you, up to 500 feet. However, those high beams can also be overkill when there are streetlights to aid your visibility. When there are other motorists around, it’s best to avoid your high beams, since the light is aimed higher, and could affect their ability to see.
In rain, snow, and fog, your high beams might make it more difficult to see. Since the light is aimed higher and will cause the particles in the air to reflect towards your vehicle, it can limit your visibility. Low beams will aim the light downward, better illuminating the road.
If the light of oncoming traffic is making it difficult for you to see, high beams won’t help. Try focusing on the white line on the right side of the road until the driver passes. The line will guide you and be the easiest thing to see. Flashing your lights to get the other driver to turn off their high beams might not be properly interpreted and could do more harm than good.
When to Use Your Hazard Lights
Many drivers overuse their hazard lights. It can be unsafe to use them when they are not needed, such as in a heavy rain downpour. In inclement weather, most drivers are traveling at a similar, reduced speed. If you turn on your hazards, other drivers and law enforcement may misinterpret your hazards as a signal that your vehicle is stopped. A police officer may interpret that you need assistance. The hazard lights also disable your turn signals, which can create a dangerous situation, especially in adverse weather. The best thing to do in this situation is to maintain a safe speed and turn on your headlights and taillights.
Other drivers may use hazards when parking illegally, in heavy traffic, or as an alternative to a turn signal. All of these situations can be confusing and problematic for other drivers. Again, it’s best to drive defensively and observe the laws of your area while navigating.
There are two instances when you should use hazard lights: in a funeral procession and when stopped on or near the roadway. Using your hazards in a funeral procession communicates to other drivers that they should adjust their speed. When stopped because your vehicle has broken down, an officer has pulled you over, or in an emergency situation, drivers know that they should reduce their speed, and move over if possible. Hazards increase visibility and warn other drivers to pay attention as they approach.
We hope this helps clear up when you should use these lights. Of course, this is a guideline and you should use your best judgment in any situation to be as safe as possible. If you’ve noticed that one of your lights isn’t working correctly, or as bright as it should be, contact the INFINITI Of South Bay service team today. We can make sure your lights are working properly and replace any bulbs that aren’t working.