California Laws for High Beams

by Daniel Boateng
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Headlight high beams are useful when driving late at night on roads without enough illumination. They enable us to see far ahead on the road and recognize potential obstacles that could cause accidents. They make us feel secure on the road, and help us navigate correctly and responsibly. High beams must be appropriately used, following rules.

Oncoming Next-Lane Traffic

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High beams are more than useful on a dark road, especially at night in areas where there may be animals, such as deer, or potential curves on the road. However, if there is oncoming traffic in the opposite lane, it is imperative to turn off high beams 500 feet away from the car, so as to prevent causing the other driver to feel blinded and distracted by the beams. The lights can be turned on after you pass the driver, and there is no oncoming traffic.

Daytime High Beams

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Most people are under the illusion that high beams are only used by drivers on the road during the night. While this might be partially true, high beams can also be used in the day. Even worse is how distracting they can be especially on sunny bright days. It is completely unnecessary to use high beams during the day, when it is clear. Ideally, it is appropriate to turn them off, unless it is fairly dark or raining. In recent times, it has become popular amongst motorcycle drivers to keep their beams on during the day. This is a very dangerous practice that can cause distraction to drivers.

Oncoming Median-Separated Traffic

If you are driving on a road that is divided by a median, such that there are two sides of the road, your high beams do not have to be turned off, if oncoming passing traffic is 500 feet away from you while passing.


Always obey high-beam rules set by different states.

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