HIGH BEAMS AT NIGHT – WHAT DOES THE LAW SAY?
Anyone who has driven at night in Arizona has probably had the pleasure (NOT) of being blinded by an approaching vehicle with its bright lights on. It’s not only annoying, but very dangerous, and in fact, illegal.
A driver of a motor vehicle should always use the low beam of the headlamps when approaching another vehicle from the rear and when following another vehicle.
ARIZONA HIGH BEAM LAW
Arizona law requires that all vehicles manufactured after January 1, 1951, be equipped with head lamps that can be switched from high beam, an “uppermost distribution of light, or composite beam” and low beam a “lowermost distribution of light, or composite beam.” A.R.S. §28-941. The high beam must be “so aimed and of sufficient intensity to reveal persons and vehicles of at least three hundred fifty feet ahead….” The low beam must be able to reveal persons and vehicles at least 100 feet ahead, but no portion of the beam can be directed to strike the eyes of an approaching driver. New vehicles must also be equipped with a beam indicator (typically on the dashboard) indicating when the high beam is in use.
Use of headlights is required from sunset to sunrise, and at any other time that there is not enough light to make persons and vehicles visible at a distance of 500 feet ahead. A.R.S. § 28-922. So, when do you have to use low beam?
You must switch to low beam whenever you are within 500 feet of an approaching vehicle. You must also switch to low beam when you are following a vehicle within 200 feet, except when you are in the process of overtaking and passing. A.R.S. § 28-942.
Accidents caused by high beams can trigger a civil lawsuit. Because a driver has an obligation to use reasonable care and caution on the roads, if you are in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence in using their high beams, you may have remedies at law.
Bright headlights that cause accidents occur more often than you think. As with any road hazard, anything that obstructs another person’s view can cause accidents – even fatal ones. Bright lights can be disorienting causing other drivers to drift across lane lines because of the impacted view.
If you’ve been injured and need a lawyer who will fight for your rights, call Law Badgers at CALL (833 DTF IGHT) or email us at [email protected] We’re here to help.
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