blog home Motor Vehicle Accidents Cars Are Being Spotted at Night Without Lights On

Cars Are Being Spotted at Night Without Lights On

By Weston Personal Injury Attorney on May 30, 2023

White tesla driving at dusk with no headlights on.

When someone drives at night without their headlights on, bad things can happen. The driver may get a ticket or crash into an obstruction in the road. And other drivers may not see a car with its headlights turned off. This may cause a collision.

When Are You Required to Have Your Lights on In Florida?

Florida drivers are required to have their lights on from sunset to sunrise. This includes “twilight time” when visibility is reduced in the period prior to sunset and as the sun begins to rise.

Many drivers don’t know it, but state law mandates that Florida drivers have their lights on at other times as well. You must have your headlights and taillights on when:

  • It’s difficult to spot other drivers.
  • Other drivers may have difficulty spotting you.
  • It’s raining hard enough to turn on your windshield wipers.
  • Fog is present.
  • There are smokey conditions caused by fire.

Why People Forget to Turn on Their Lights

The average American car is more than twelve years old. Many of these older cars still require drivers to turn on their lights manually. Drivers don’t always notice the headlight indicator when they go out for a drive at night, and sometimes they forget to turn on their lights.

Another reason people neglect to turn on their headlights is that drivers will often forget to switch them on at sunset as it begins to darken gradually.

Many cars have bright digital dashboards that come on automatically. These dashboards make drivers much less aware of the light caused by headlights directly in front of the cabin. To remind drivers, some newer cars are equipped with dashboards that remain dark until the lights are turned on.

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol dramatically increases the chance that a driver will forget to turn on their headlights. If the driver in another vehicle is flashing their lights, it could be an indication that you’ve forgotten to turn yours on.

People driving without their headlights turned on are much more likely to get into accidents caused by the following types of hazards:

  • Obstructions
  • Other vehicles
  • Road signs
  • Medians
  • Potholes

The Problem with Running Lights

Some cars are equipped with running lights that come on automatically whenever you’re driving. Running lights are mandatory in many countries, such as Canada, and this has prompted some manufacturers to install them in vehicles that are sold in the United States.

If a person is out driving in a vehicle with running lights as the sun sets, their taillights may not automatically come on, and this could result in a rear-end collision. To counter this problem, some newer cars will automatically turn the taillights on if you begin driving while it’s still daylight.

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