High Beam Etiquette

Posted by Motorama Motoring Team
Posted in

With shorter days during the cooler months in Australia, it's worth thinking about wet weather driving and the best ways to stay safe on the road even when visibility and driving conditions aren't ideal.

Most winter driving tools are pretty common sense - everyone knows how to use their window wipers, headlights and hazard lights in order to drive safely when it is dark or wet. However one of the most commonly misunderstood driving tools the average car offers is the high beams - the extra powerful function on your headlights that can cut through the dark and illuminate the road ahead. 

Here are a few tips for using your high beams. Take the time to read up on these and make sure you keep them in mind the next time you are driving at night.

When should you use your high beams?

Whenever you are driving at high speeds at night, on an empty road with no street lights, it is advised that you use your high beams so that you can see ahead and watch for any obstacles. This is particularly important in rural Australia where we have often deal with animals wandering across the road. 

High beams will help you spot these critters and potentially avoid a nasty collision. You probably won't need to use your high beams when driving at speeds under 70 km/hour, however it's best to use your common sense. It's a good idea to always be thinking about ten seconds ahead of your car, so keep this in mind.

When shouldn't you use your high beams?

The Queensland road code says that you are not allowed to switch on your high beams if there are any vehicles less than 200 metres ahead of you, whether they are driving in the same direction as you or on the other side of the road. You can actually be fined 2 demerit points for this! Essentially, you want to take care to avoid accidentally blinding or dazzling any other drivers on the road. 

If a car is driving towards you with its high beams on, consider politely flashing your high beams a few times to remind them to switch theirs off. You should also not use your high beams when it is raining particularly heavily, or when there is thick fog in the air. This is because your high beams can actually reflect back in this sort of weather and actually make seeing even more difficult! 

If you are ever driving and find yourself in a situation where the weather makes it very difficult to see, the best idea is to slow down, stay calm, and switch on your hazard lights if you feel that they may make your car more visible to other drivers.

What else should I know?

It's a good idea to test your high beams every now and then in your garage or while parked, just to make sure they are working properly and won't let you down when you need them  you should also bring your car in within its servicing schedule to ensure that the high beams on your car - and all other lights for that matter - are working effectively. 

Sometimes your headlights may go out of alignment or become loose. This is difficult to spot but can be a big danger on the roads. 

With our fantastic new and used car Capped Price Service Plans, bringing your car in to Motorama for servicing is super easy and affordable, so you might want to think about signing up for this service as well.