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When must I legally have my headlights on?

You have many types of safety features on your vehicle. There are new ones being introduced all the time. They are designed to keep you safer on the roadways. One of the oldest and most practical safety features is something you may not give much thought to. This is your headlights. Your headlights can really help when used at the right times. Washington law actually stipulates some times when you must or should use them.

According to the Department of Licensing, you are required by law to have your headlights on a half an hour before sunset and after sunrise. There are other situations not required by law but highly suggested when you should turn your headlights on. These includes any weather situation where visibility is low, such as heavy rain, snow and fog.

Because your headlights help you to be seen better by other drivers, it is also a good idea to have them on whenever you are traveling with the sun at your back. Coming into the sun, other drivers may not be able to see your vehicle until it is too late.

You should use your low beams most of the time. In adverse weather, your low beams actually allow more visibility than your high beams. Your high beams may also blind other vehicles, so you should only use them when there is not another vehicle within 500 feet.

One last note, never drive with just your parking lights on. These should only be used when parking. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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