When driving at night, which vehicle lights should you turn on? When driving at night, which vehicle lights should you turn on?

  • A. Position lights (park lights) only

  • B. Dipped headlights (low beam)

  • C. High beam lights

  • D. Fog lights

  •  
    The correct answer is B
     
    Correct. Turn on your dipped headlights first. This will also turn on your position (park) lights if you don't have daytime running lights. If the situation arises, then you can use your high beam headlights and fog lights. If you are parked then you can leave your position lights on while you are in the car.
     
 
 
 

Using your vehicle's headlights

When you can't see at least 100m ahead of you, you must turn your vehicle's headlights on.

Even if you can see well, other drivers might not be able to see you, especially if your vehicle is a darker colour. In fact, if you drive a darker coloured vehicle it is advisable to turn your lights on earlier and off later as some coloured vehicles are more at risk of being in an accident due to visibility issues. Turning on your headlights means turning the main lights on your car on. This will turn both the front and rear lights on.

If there are no daytime running lights or automatic lights there will be sidelights that come on the first click of your headlight controls. The second click are the main headlights. To access full beam headlights you'll either push the stalk forwards or pull it back. In most modern cars pulling the headlight stalk back flashes the headlights whereas pushing it forward keeps the headlights on. In some older cars, you would pull the headlight stalk back until it clicks a switch, then pull it back again to cancel the full beam headlights.

Why do other vehicles' headlights come on in a tunnel?

Many newer cars will have daytime running lights which are on all the time, and some have automatic headlights which detect when it's dark enough for headlights to be lit. 

Replacing headlight bulbs

Eventually your headlight bulbs will fail and then your vehicle is not up to Warrant of Fitness standard. You will need to purchase a replacement bulb, which you can do from any automotive store, and fit it yourself. Or take it to a mechanic to replace it.  

Replacing a headlight bulb can be tricky. You will probably need to get in the engine bay with a screwdriver. The headlight bulbs are usually held in with a wire clip. You will need a paper towel or cloth to install the new bulb because if you get the grease from your skin on them it can create a hotspot which cracks the bulb.

If you have LED lights they are less likely to fail.

Levelling your headlights

Newer cars tend to have self-levelling headlights. For example, if you are carrying a heavy load in the boot, or a pillion passenger on a motorcycle, the back of the vehicle is pushed down which means the front of the vehicle points up. This means your low-beam headlights could become dazzling to other drivers. Self-levelling headlights automatically adjust downwards.

If you don’t have self-levelling headlights and you are carrying a heavy load or towing a trailer, there will be a dial somewhere on your dashboard where you can angle the lights downwards.