Headlights tell a lot about your driving

“Bright or no light”, which one are you?  

There are two main purposes for using the headlights on your vehicle. Firstly, it to see the road environment ahead and the secondly, just as important, is to make other road users see your vehicle. Driving with only the parking lights turned on are extremely dangerous. When other vehicles have headlights on low beam, vehicles with no lights or only parking lights on, just disappear in the dark background.  This makes it very unsafe to pass other vehicles because you cannot be sure the road is clear ahead.

When you think it is time to turn on the lights of your vehicle, make sure it is at on low beam. The brighter the ambient light, the more light you need to be visible, therefore parking lights is not going to help at all. This also applies to driving in fog, rain or any other situation with reduced visibility.

Drivers who travel between our neighboring townships experience the opposite. Drivers fail to dim their lights even when other vehicles are approaching. Whenever this happens, the appropriate action is to flash your lights on high beam for a second, to let the approaching driver know he/she is blinding you. Do not get fixated on the bright lights, but rather look to the left to minimize the effect. The same applies when you approach another vehicle from behind. Turn your lights on low beam.

In countries where antelope and other wild animals frequently jump across traffic, especially at night, drivers also turn on the cabin light when driving at night. The reason for this is that these animals, in most cases, would jump to miss the headlights; because that is the only threat they see. By turning the cabin light on, makes the rest of the vehicle visible to them and they would aim to miss the lights.

The prompt I use to turn on my lights is whenever I see two or more vehicle with headlights on, I will turn on mine.

Safer Journeys!

Daniel Naudé