As we move closer to the shortest day of the year, there is an increasing chance of you not only driving in the dark but for longer.  Let’s not take our car lights for granted and make sure we know how they work and when to use them!

freeway-unprofoundThe Law

UK law states that:

  • All sidelights and rear registration plate lights are lit between sunset and sunrise.
  • Headlights must be used at night (with the exception if you are on a road with lit street lighting) and when visibility is seriously reduced.
  • Fog lights must be switched on when visibility is seriously reduced (see driving in fog article for more info) and do remember to turn them off once visibility improves.
  • You shouldn’t dazzle other road users (this includes pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders)
  • Dipped headlights should be used in built-up areas at night and in dull daytime weather
  • TIP: Keep headlights dipped when overtaking, and only switch to main beam when level (to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic)
  • TIP: If you are being dazzled by oncoming headlights, slow down and stop if necessary
  • Use hazard warning lights with care – only when stationary to warn that it is obstructing traffic temporarily.

Brake Lights

Did you know that one in 10 cars on the road have at least one brake light out? And over 25,000 accidents every year are as a result of drivers misjudging the speed of the car in front.  A proportion of these are down to faulty brake lights.  So don’t be one of these statistics and check your brake lights regularly.

Get someone you know to stand at the back of your car and check for reflections, do this once a week and clean them when they get dirty.  They will of course be checked over once a year by a professional during your car’s MOT but simple checkups in between can help avoid accidents.

915802_77689908Routine checks

Follow these routine checks to stay safe on the roads:

  • Check all lights (including headlights, indicators, fog lights, rear number plate and brake lights) regularly
  • Make sure no lamp lights are cracked – replace if faulty
  • Clean your lights before each journey, especially if the road has been gritted – ensure you can see and be seen
  • Carry spare bulbs with you


If your motto is “the brighter, the better” then you might like the XenonUltima range of bulbs from Ring Automotive.  This range continues to outperform its competitors and provide 120% more light on the road.  We’ve seen some pics of cars via the DS4U Facebook page and boy are they bright!  Ring Automotive have a handy car bulb finder if you aren’t sure which one you need.  Alternatively, Volante can get hold of bulbs for you when your car is in for a service.

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