Headlight Laws - what you Should to know

Headlight laws

It may feel bad sometimes knowing that the law by the government restricts a lot of things for individuals in the state, they tell you how to spend your own money, what kinds of products to buy, and even down to how to use your headlights. But in the end, it is all for our own good and for the good of other drivers on the road like the self dimming headlights.

It is also wise to periodically check your headlights and make sure they are in good condition so you don’t end up being pulled over or worse appearing in court and paying a hefty fine. Did you know that by law, there are certain headlight types to use at certain climates? For instance, when it’s raining or snowing or some other form of climatic conditions, different headlight types are required by the state. It is usually in the best interest of every driver to keep abreast of all things headlights as regarding the state laws and requirements. While there are different headlight laws out there, there are also different methods of restoring headlights to avoid getting pulled over. 

For instance, in Georgia, there are different types of requirements for headlights pertaining to even times of the day. Fortunately, we have taken the liberty to bring some of these laws to your notice to enable you to drive your car safely and avoid traffic and road safety violations. 

When should you use your headlights – state laws

When Should You Use Your Headlights - State Laws

Once it is nighttime, the state laws require your headlights to be turned on – both of them. Some states take this a step further and even require both lights be turned on, irrespective of the time of the day. What this means is that your headlights must be turned on both night and day, 

In states like Tennessee and Georgia, headlights are required to be turned on 30 minutes right after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise. Doing this would help other drivers spot your car in the dark and it’ll help keep motorists safe on the road and reduce the risk of collision. 

In other states, headlights are required to be turned on when the wipers are winding continuously, this signals that it is raining and snowing, and other drivers or pedestrians would respond accordingly. Which is why it’s paramount that you must restore your oxidized headlights

Most states in the US require headlights to be on when within 500 feet of another vehicle. Furthermore, in most states, your headlights are required to be turned on when you are in a construction area. 

These laws per state may admittedly be complicated, so keeping yourself informed of headlight laws and the best headlight restoration kits to use within your state and in any state, you are in when you travel is vital. 

Why you should use headlights during the day

Why You Should Use Headlights During The Day

When you think headlights, you think dark, gloomy, perhaps rainy night. However, despite being overlooked, driving with headlights during the day also helps to create a safer and accident free environment especially when it’s raining or snowing. This is not because it’s required by the state but because during heavy rains or snow, the atmosphere is quite dark and visibility ultimately reduced. 

So, when you come across daylight headlight signs, it goes without saying that you have to turn on your headlights to be on the safer side of the law. These are the little things that may get you a ticket or put you in court paying hefty fines if violated. So, ensure your car headlights are clean and adhere to your state laws concerning headlights. Should your car be in need of restoration due to oxidation, try a headlight restoration kit. Being a law abiding citizen especially as regards headlight laws is not a costly idea. 

When are headlights recommended to be turned on ? – department of motor vehicles



During the day, the Department of Motor Vehicles recommends your headlights be turned on in the following circumstances 

  • Harsh weather conditions like blizzards, rain, storms, fog, smoke etc. 
  • When driving in rural areas or roads surrounded by mountains
  • When driving in narrow roads or a two lane highway
  • When you see a “daytime headlight zone” sign 
  • Before sunrise and after sunset. 

When you take a proper look at these, it does not take much to realize that these laws and recommendations are put in place for your safety and a safer driving experience on the highways, not just for other motorists, but for pedestrians as well. 

How to use headlights during the day to use headlights during the day


Admittedly, this depends greatly on the model of your car, but some car models have Daytime Running Lights (DRL). DRL’s increase your car visibility and safety when driving during the day. Yes, also admittedly, there is usually no problem spotting cars, but the DRL makes your car easier to spot and reduces risks drastically. You cannot be too safe. 

With the DRL, you would also know if a car is approaching or receding, it can be very confusing sometimes, but the DRL makes it all easier. Fortunately, most cars produced today come with DRL’s, so it shouldn’t be hard to find.  More to the point, research has shown that cars with the headlights on during the day have less chance of collisions- up to 5-10%. 

More so, DRL’s are user friendly, once you turn your engines on, they come on as well, and they would turn off when the engine goes off. Yes, they are that user friendly and automatic! No special attention required. 

Headlight beams and when to use them

High Beams: 

  • Rural areas or mountain roads
  • When highways are open and there are no other vehicles in sight
  • When driving in roads where there are no lights. 

Low Beams

  • Bad weather conditions
  • When you are driving in a fog (In case you don’t have fog lights) 
  • When the road signs call for it
  • When you are within 500 feet of another vehicle. 


Safety and state laws go hand in hand. Abiding by them is easier than you think. However, due to the different state laws there are, you may need to brush up on the laws where you are.

Remember to turn off your headlights when you are parked. In the end, drive safely and do the right thing so you don’t get a ticket. 

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