Utility Trailer Lighting Requirements

by Faith Davies

At night, an unlit utility trailer can be very dangerous, and accidents and deaths occurring from prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue several requirements concerning utility trailer lighting.

Rear Lighting

Trailers must have a set of red tail lights, red brake lights and red turn signals mounted on the back. The lights must be visible at 45 degree angles from the left and right and at 10 degree angles above and below the lights. Additionally, a clear light must be placed above the license plate so that it can be easily read.

Side-Marker Lights

Pairs of side-marker lights are required on both the front and back sides of the vehicle. The rear side markers must be red, while those in the front should be amber. Side-marker lights must be visible at 45 degree angles from the left and right of the trailer and 10 degree angles above and below the lights.

Reflectors

Red reflectors are required on the rear and rear side of the vehicles. Additionally, amber reflectors are required on the vehicle front. All reflectors must be visible at 20 degree angles from the left and right of the trainer and 10 degree angles above and below the lights.

Large trailers

In addition to the previously described lighting and reflectors, utility trailers that are more than 80 inches long require the addition of a red clearance light and a red and clear-striped identification light on the back of the trailer. An amber clearance light must be placed on the front. The requirements for these lights are the ability to be viewed at 45 degree angles from the left and right and at 10 degree angles above and below the lights.

Considerations

Additional lighting requirements may be implemented by various states, so it is important to verify specific requirements when planning a trip. Additionally, care must be made in the wiring of utility trailers to ensure that they are properly connected to the towing vehicle.

About the Author

Faith Davies has been writing professionally since 1996, contributing to various websites. She holds an LAH insurance license in the state of Pennsylvania and has experience as a bank branch manager and lending officer. Davies graduated cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in art history.