When it comes to driving, it really does not matter how capable you are in navigating or manoeuvring obstacles despite lacking a few parts in your car; the state imposes mandates and requirements to ensure safety because of how dangerous it is to drive with cloudy headlights as it’s their duty.
So, can driving with one headlight get you pulled over? Yes, absolutely! Why? How can you avoid it? How can you change headlights? And what can you do even when you are pulled over? To answer your questions, keep reading as we dive deeper into the topic. But, before we proceed further, it’s imperative to keep in mind that a good driver is not one who is confident in his driving abilities, but one who drives for the benefit of others on the road.
In that regard, when you have just one headlight, it may confuse other oncoming motorists and in as much as you are confident in yourself, it is also very distracting to you as the driver. Regardless, driving with one headlight is not only unadvisable, it is also illegal in most cities of the United States.
In the same vein, every state has different laws on road safety. For instance, some states require that the headlights of cars be turned on, night and day while others require that headlights remain on only at night or during extreme weather conditions like snow or rain.
State laws regarding headlights
As mentioned earlier, some states require that headlights be turned on morning or night while on the road. Other states, however, even have more stringent and specific rules requiring headlight be turned on 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise. But withins all these laws, what’s more important is that every vehicle except motor bikes of course, must have two headlights. So if you violate this rule, it is highly likely that you will be pulled over.
What to do when you get pulled over for having one headlight?
If you find yourself being pulled over by an officer of the law, the best thing to do is to be honest. The officer may be more lenient with you when you are honest, polite, and kind. The officer may end up reciprocating and you would find things would go along more smoothly.
Sometimes, you as the driver may be unaware that you have a burnout headlight, but when you eventually get pulled over, the law enforcement agent or police officer may either give you a warning (if it’s your first time) or a notice to fix. If you are fast with fixing it, then there shouldn’t be any problem, but you may need to show proof of correction and pay a fine of $10 to the court. However, if it’s an oxidation problem, you might want to restore your headlights before your next trip.
But, if you have been driving with one headlight for a while with several warnings from the authorities, you may not be able to get off the hook that easily. You may be given a notice to both correct it and appear in court. What this means is that you will not only correct it, but appear in court and pay a fine that’s larger than what you would have paid if you had corrected it earlier, and worst of all, you may have messed up your record with a new violation.
How to avoid being pulled over
There are no cutting corners here, if you want to avoid getting pulled over because of your headlights, it’s simple – don’t get on the road with one headlight till you’ve fixed it and have restored it with a recommended headlight restoration kit that lasts longer.
It may sound very logical and straightforward, but a lot of people defy the odds and still get on the road. Also, there are cases where you may be tempted to do so as well, situations like an emergency, or maybe you are not driving far. Either way, you stand a risk of being pulled over. So it’s best to not take that vehicle out at all.
Furthermore, to make sure you are not caught unawares, when you get in your car, flick the headlights to make sure they are both working and in perfect condition. Although flashing your headlights may mean more than you think, it is better to be safe than sorry. If you find out a bulb is out, it is relatively easy to fix it and you can do it yourself.
With $15, you can buy a new bulb and fix it in yourself. However, it is best to fix both bulbs. When one headlight bulb goes out, the other would reply soon enough, so avoid that and replace both headlight bulbs.
Most importantly, it is in your best interest to be abreast of all the laws, requirements and regulations as far as your state is concerned, the safety laws and other laws that may affect you as a driver in that state.
As for your car, it is best to take proactive measures to make sure you don’t end up on the wrong side of the law. For instance, checking to see if your headlights are working properly before leaving home and getting your car on the road, and also doing other things too to maintain your car and ensure it is in the best condition.
Remember that the makings of a good driver is one that puts other drivers and motorists into consideration. So it matters not how capable you are to navigate your way with a faulty headlight, it does not matter if your eye-sight is top-notch and you can see clearly despite having one light. It doesn’t even matter if you can dodge all the officers on the road and evade being pulled over, the point is you are putting other drivers in danger and regardless of your skills and expertise, that makes you a bad driver.
Finally, understand that these laws, rules, and regulations are put in place for your own good too. So, the laws are not too stringent, the officer isn’t the enemy, or being mean, the state’s laws are there for you, so there’s no need to fight it. Adhering to the rules and regulations is everything. You will be a law abiding citizen and one that doesn’t put any other driver in danger. Now, that’s a good driver!