The usage of high-beam lights is quite common on Indian roads. Do you know someone who drives through the roads on a high beam?  Well if you do, you should definitely make them read this blog. Why? Certainly, to bring them face to face with the deadly threat they are posing to someone else’s life and theirs as well.

High beam light sign

When do you use high beam lights?

The purpose of the high beams headlights is to provide a clear view to the driver at places where there is no immediate source of light and the traffic is scarce. That means you should use low beam headlights if a vehicle is within 200 meters of your range, to ensure a safe gap.

This is applicable when the vehicle is approaching from the opposite side or lies right in front of you. In both these cases, the other person can be blinded (for a few seconds) from direct exposure to light or the glare in the rearview mirror.

The consequences of this temporary blindness can be horrific, especially when one is driving at a high speed. Though high beam headlights majorly pose a threat at the night time, it is as dangerous if used in fog and rains.

Do you use high beam lights in the fog?

Fog slows down a major chunk of traffic, be it railways, be it road traffic, fog and rains make it difficult to navigate. Some people use high beam headlights in fog and rain, to ensure visibility. This should not be done as high beams emit powerful light which gets reflected by the water droplets in the fog(or rain) resulting in a sharp glare.

This glare is strong enough to dazzle the other divers and the results can be pretty unpleasing. The same logic applies in case of a snow and rains as well. So, next time you have a thought about using high beams in fog, rain or snow, avoid it and avoid risking precious lives as well.

High beam Headlights in fog and rain
Apart from a moral responsibility, foul usage of high beam lights is a punishable offence. Let us take you through the legal implications here.

Are there any Penalties for the foul usage of High beam lights?

Inevitably, the answer is “yes”. According to CMV( Central Motor Vehicles) rule number 106 the construction of headlights has to be such that it is,

Permanently deflected downwards to such an extent that it is not capable of dazzling any person
a) At a distance of 8 metres from the front of lamp,
b) At a distance of 0.5 metre to the right side of the lamps, i.e., fitted at right extreme of
the vehicle, from the right edge of the lamp, and
c) At a height of 1.5 metres from the supporting plane of the vehicle

So, if you’re the vehicle owner, it is your responsibility to check these specifications as well.

The CMV rules ensure road safety but to top it, one is also liable for a ticket of INR 100 for using a high beam(in situations where it’s not needed) as per the section 112 and 177 MVA(Motor Vehicles Act). There can be a subsequent fine (up to INR 300) too.

Since we have talked a lot about the inappropriate use of high beams and the legal implications, let us talk about which lights should be ideally used in different conditions.

High beam Headlights

Which lights should be ideally used instead of high beam lights?

High beam lights have a strong illumination and they can be only used on highways or areas where with low traffic, especially when there is no other vehicle in the range of 200 meters. If there are other vehicles in the vicinity of your beloved vehicle, you can use other light systems as well. To name a few, you have your parking lights, license plate lights, tail lights and daytime running light(DRL) systems which can help you out. Let’s dig a little deeper into the usage of low beam lights and the tail lights.

When to use low beam lights?
Abiding by road safety rules, it is advisable to use low beam headlights at night when there is an ample amount of light on the public streets or roads. This also holds true in case of fog, rain or snow.

When to use tail lights?
It is a mandate to use the tail lights on public roads, half an hour after the sunset as per CMV rule number 105. This also holds true when there is not an adequate amount of light to clearly identify a vehicle at a distance of 155 meters. In the latter situation, one can use low beams lights as well.

Now that you know about the usage of lights in different situations and the dangers high beam headlights can pose, spread the message by sharing this information with all the people whom you care for as

A stitch in time saves nine

We, at CARS24, wish you a very safe and happy driving 🙂