How to check and use your vehicle lights in time for winter

With winter fast-approaching, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has issued a timely reminder of how to check and use your vehicle lights.

IAM strongly advises that you should ask a friend to observe the lights around your car as you turn them on in sequence.

Are the headlights, sidelights, fog lights, indicators, brake lights, reverse lights, hazard warning lights and number plate lights all functioning correctly?

If you don’t have a friend to help you conduct this check you can park your vehicle near a reflective surface such as a garage door, in order to illuminate all the lights and look out for their reflections.

In terms of using lights, IAM suggests that fog lights should be used sparingly – "switch them on only when visibility is below 100 metres".

Heavy rain and poor light are the ideal conditions when dipped headlights should be used.

The motoring organisation is keen to remind drivers that when away from street lighting, visibility is limited to the range of the head lights. This varies greatly between dipped and full-beam, so it is good practice to slow down when driving on dipped head lights.

Written by Peter Sweden

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