It is extremely important to have effective headlights when driving at night. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently studied the headlights of many common vehicles. Over half of these headlights earned a “poor” rating, or worse. Even more expensive cars have less-than-stellar lights. It is definitely dangerous to have faulty headlights, but is it illegal? Here are some facts about Idaho car headlight laws, and some tips on making sure your lights are fit for the road:
Idaho Car Headlight Laws: Quick Facts
Idaho state law states that:
- Headlights are required at all times between sunset and sunrise.
- They are also required whenever you cannot see other cars and people 500 feet in front of you while driving.
- All cars must have at least 2 headlights, with at least on each side of the front of the car.
- Headlights cannot be covered by any material which is either very reflective or non-transparent.
- Headlights must be in working condition.
- Proper headlights should allow you to see cars and people at least 500 feet in front of you.
Following these Idaho car headlight laws will help keep you safe from an accident, and from a ticket. Police officers may pull you over and cite your for improper or faulty headlights.
Headlight Safety: How Bright is Bright Enough?
The IIHS study we mentioned above tested headlights in 5 different important situations. You want your headlights to keep you safe in all of these situations, which include:
- driving straight
- curving sharply to the left
- curving sharply to the right
- curving slowly to the left
- curving slowly to the right
In order for headlights to be as effective as possible, they must be neither too dim nor too bright. It may seem odd, but excessively bright lights can cause dangerous glares on the road. Many new cars feature high-tech, LED headlights. However, this study found little difference between these lights and the basic halogen lights found on most cars. How can you judge the quality of your headlights? Usually, by the amount of road they illuminate and the reaction time they allow you.
- Good headlights: Someone driving 70 mph in a straight line has enough time to see an obstacle and slow down safely to avoid a crash.
- Bad headlights: You must be driving 35 mph or slower in order to react to an obstacle on time and avoid a crash.
Faulty headlights can cause accidents. Make sure that yours are bright enough (but not too bright) and working properly.
If you are injured in a car accident due to someone else’s faulty lights, you may be able to recover your losses. At Hansen Injury Law, we specialize in representing car accident victims. We understand Idaho car headlight laws and can help demonstrate that the other driver’s insurance company owes you damages. Contact us today for a free consultation.