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When must you turn your vehicle headlights on? When must you turn your vehicle headlights on?

  • A. 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise

  • B. In fog

  • C. When you can't see 100 metres ahead of you

  • D. All of the above

    The correct answer is D
    All these situations mean your vehicle is less visible to other road users, and using your lights will make you more visible. Note that if you are riding a motorbike that was manufactured after 1 January 1980 it is compulsory that you turn your headlights or daytime running lights on during daylight hours, even if visibility is clear.

When you must turn your vehicle headlights on

You must turn your vehicle headlights on:

In a car, motorbike or heavy vehicle, use dipped headlights when approaching other vehicles, following other vehicles, when a police officer is directing traffic and when parked. 

Two motorcyclists approaching one another

Full beam headlights can blind other drivers.

Following a motorcyclist

Using a daytime running light, or dipped headlight during the day, will make you much more visible to other road users, whether you are driving a car or riding a motorbike.

If one of your headlights has failed then you must repair it immediately as it means your vehicle isn't up to warrant of fitness standard. It also makes it more difficult for other drivers to judge your approach speed, distance and the size of your vehicle. 

Headlights on right-hand drive cars are angled to the left so that they don't dazzle other drivers. This also gives you a good view straight up the lane and to the side of the road. Some modern cars have headlights that swivel as the steering wheel is turned to help drivers when turning into driveways and around corners. These are called adaptive headlights.

Many cars will have daytime running lights for added security, but you still must turn your headlights on after dusk. If you have automatic headlights, leave them in the auto position and they will turn on when the light level drops. This does mean that they might turn on and off as you enter and exit a tunnel.