he lights in your car may seem simple since all you have to do is flip their switches at the appropriate times. However, you may be surprised to learn that there are a number of lighting rules that can get you in trouble if you don’t stick to them. 

Is it legal to drive with an LED light bar? Can you use hazard lights while driving? Read on to learn the legalities around these and other important questions. 

1. Timing is everything

Around a third of all road accidents in Australia occur at night. So, when driving between sunset and sunrise, you must have your headlights, taillights, and number plate lights on and in working order. 

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You must also flip your headlights to low beam whenever conditions make it dark enough that you wouldn’t be able to see someone in dark clothing at a distance of around 100m. It may sound like that would be hard to gauge, but when you’re in the midst of heavy rain, a dust storm, or fog, you can generally tell that it’s time to put the lights on. 

2. Fog lights and LED light bars

These should never be switched on under normal driving conditions. Fog lights are exclusively for fog, rain, smoke, dust, and other such conditions. Once you’re through the worst of it and can see clearly, it’s essential that you switch your fog lights off.

The rules around LED light bars are even stricter. These should be reserved for off-road driving and conditions in which you aren’t at risk of dazzling and distracting other drivers. 

3. What to do when dazzled

If another driver is blasting their high beams, light bar, or fog lights, you’ll need to avoid looking directly into the beams. Try driving closer to the left edge of your lane and affixing your gaze a little to the left of the vehicle. If your vision is affected by the brightness of the lights, slow down, and if you can do so safely, find a space to stop out of the way of traffic until your eyes recover. 

4. Hazard lights

It’s important to check where the hazard lights are in every vehicle you drive. The last thing you want to be doing in a dangerous situation is searching for the button to activate the hazards. These lights must be used whenever your vehicle is stopped in a hazardous position and when you’re driving in hazardous circumstances. They must not be used at any other time. 

5. High beams

The high beam setting on your headlights can be used whenever you need to see further ahead. You may use them when there are street lights present. However, you must operate them mindfully and be ready to turn them back to low beam in the following situations: 

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  • When an approaching vehicle is within 200m (if safe to do so, it’s best to switch to low beam the moment you can see the headlights of an oncoming vehicle);
  • When driving within 200m of another vehicle heading in the same direction (once again, if safe to do so, it’s best to switch to low beam as soon as you see the taillights of a vehicle up ahead);
  • When a vehicle is overtaking you.

Lights are one of the most important safety features on any vehicle. They allow you to see what’s going on around you and show others where you are. However, when used inappropriately, they can turn from a safety feature to a hazard. Stick to the rules above, and you’ll be able to count yourself among the most responsible drivers on the road.