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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

Is It Illegal to Drive with High Beams On? How to Prove Negligence

Most people dislike driving at night because of poor visibility. Since it's harder to see the road at night, especially in a dimly lit area, drivers prefer to use their high beams to see the road ahead better.

Still, improper high beam use can present many dangers. The other vehicle's high beams might blind a driver moving in the opposite direction, or the bright lights might cause them to lose control of the car and crash into other vehicles or objects.

If one is in a crash because the other driver did not dim their high beams, that driver could be liable for damages. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys will go to war for Hou and help victims prove negligence. They can also answer the question of what does a personal injury lawyer do? This article explains the dangers of bright headlights, what the traffic laws say about high beams, and much more.

Is Driving with High-beam Headlights Illegal in Texas When There's an Oncoming Vehicle?

Is Driving with High-beam Headlights Illegal in Texas When There's an Oncoming Vehicle?

Texas state law covers the rules for high-beam use. Under the statute, it's illegal to drive with the high beams on all the time. In fact, it is a moving infraction and will carry a significant fine.

Ultimately, one who approaches an oncoming driver within 500 feet should choose:

  • The lowest light or composite beam possible, regardless of load conditions or road contour

  • A distribution aimed where no part of the high beams project onto the eyes of an oncoming vehicle

  • No high beams when a driver approaches another vehicle from the rear at 300 feet away

In a sense, high beams can be used in overwhelming darkness, though Texas doesn't offer laws for heavy rainstorms, fog, and other conditions. It's up to the driver to determine what's right in that particular situation.

Hazards of Using High Beam Headlights Improperly

If used incorrectly, high beams might cause a safety hazard to the driver and other drivers on the road. Many people don't realize how dangerous it is to drive with the high beam headlights on.

Here are a few ways that improper high beam use might lead to a crash and why it's better to use low beams when possible:

Visibility Decreases

High-beam headlights can reflect off of smoke, precipitation, and fog. This might impair the driver's ability to see oncoming traffic, animals, traffic lights, and pedestrians.

Oncoming Traffic Is Blinded

If a person fails to dim their high-beam headlights, it might temporarily blind oncoming traffic. Therefore, an approaching vehicle operator might lose control of the car, swerving into traffic.

Increased Risk of Road Rage

Incorrect high-beam use could annoy drivers of other vehicles, which can cause road rage. If one has their high beams on and is driving behind another car, they could get angry and hit the brakes. Both parties would be at fault.

Misjudging the Driving Distance

High beams will illuminate the road more than normal lights. If one forgets to turn off the high beams or uses them on turns and hills, they could misjudge the distance needed to brake. Though the exact distance varies for safety, it's wise to always turn off high beams when possible.

Liability for Accidents Caused by the Driver's High Beams

In a crash, including those caused by the high beam lights of another driver, liability depends primarily on the negligence rules in place. Negligence is considered a failure to behave with a level of care a reasonable person might use under similar or the same circumstances.

Therefore, a victim must prove that the other driver was negligent by showing that they owed the victim a duty of care while on the road. Since their actions breached the duty of care, it led to an injury or damages. Lawyers can help prove these elements and pursue compensation. They can also answer questions like is a golf cart street legal in Texas?

Why Hire an Attorney

An experienced attorney is beneficial here. If the other party was given a traffic infraction by police officers, this might be used as evidence. Likewise, serious injury lawyers in Houston will gather other evidence, which might indicate that the other person used their high beams and didn't dim them as required by law.

Sometimes, a driver is blinded by the high beams, which is also considered negligence. When a driver approaches another vehicle with high beams, they must pull over or slow down to maintain control. The at-fault driver didn't react appropriately to avoid the crash, so they could be held liable.

Modified Comparative Negligence

Texas uses the modified comparative negligence approach. Therefore, if the victim is partially at fault (50 percent or less), they can still recover compensation. However, the awarded amount will be reduced based on their percentage of fault for the accident.

Safety Precautions to Consider for High-beam Driving

Every driver is expected to obey each traffic law the state uses. Therefore, they should respond appropriately when dealing with road hazards. If one is driving at night, here are some safety precautions they can use to reduce the risk of an accident involving brighter vehicle lights:

  • If another vehicle approaches with high beams, don't look directly into the light.

  • Shift the gaze to the right, keeping the eyes on the white lines.

  • Avoid using lights inside the vehicle because it can impair one's ability to see.

  • Adjust the review mirror when in front of other drivers using high beams to help dim the lights.

  • Ensure that the windshield has no smudges, streaks, cracks, or chips.

  • Always switch to low beams when another vehicle is approaching.

  • Try to keep the headlights and windshield clean at all times to increase visibility and reduce glare.

Request Legal Help After Being Hurt in a Car Crash

Request Legal Help After Being Hurt in a Car Crash

If one is injured in a car accident caused by another person's high beams, it's important to get legal representation as soon as possible. Working with a licensed attorney in Texas is essential because it's difficult to prove negligence. Likewise, the other drivers will work with their insurance companies to avoid liability or reduce the award earned.

A bright light can be very detrimental when driving. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is here to help victims learn the law and their rights. Request a free consultation today by calling or using the online form.


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