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Liability Considerations When a Car Crash Is Caused by Improper Headlight Usage

Published on Nov 13, 2020 at 9:05 am in car accident.

headlights of parked car near rainy sidewalk

One of the parts of a car that can be helpful at all times are the headlights. Using headlights at all times can make you more visible on the road and could even prevent accidents. When you aren’t properly using your headlights, like they aren’t on in the dark, or your high beams are on around other cars, then you could be at risk for getting into a car crash.

When you’ve been in a crash that was caused by someone else’s improper headlight usage, you could use help to guide you through the legal process. At McMath Woods P.A. in Arkansas, we’re here to represent you and determine who was at fault for your collision.

Different Ways Headlights Are Improperly Used

Using headlights the proper way can be the difference between safe driving and causing an accident. When another driver has dirty, dim, broken, burnt-out, or overly bright headlights, they could easily cause an accident with another driver who has trouble seeing them on the road. According to AAA, 50% of accidents happen at night, so if headlights aren’t being used properly, then this could lead to these nighttime accidents happening.

Cloudy headlights reduce a driver’s field of vision. When the plastic casing of headlights becomes cloudy and deteriorated, the lights do not throw off 100 percent of their capacity. Instead, they only function at about 20 percent. When driving on dark roads at high speeds, that can easily become a deadly scenario.

When a driver uses high beams when there is oncoming traffic, it can disrupt other drivers’ vision. The only way to avoid staring into high beams and getting spotty vision for a short period of time after is by looking away from oncoming traffic. This can be dangerous, though, because looking away from the road at high speeds is unsafe. And if high beams are warranted because of the dark and being an area where animals might be, looking away from the road is especially dangerous.

Cloudy headlights, reckless high beam usage, and not using headlights at all have proven to be dangerous in different scenarios, so can a driver who is improperly using their headlights be liable for an accident? In short, yes. If the headlights were a contributing factor to the collision, and were not being used properly, then the driver who was being negligent or reckless with their lights and caused an accident could be held liable for their actions.

While headlights are most important to use in the dark so that other drivers can see the driver or so the driver can see the road in front of them, they are also important during the day. While not using headlights during the day might not be reason for liability in an accident, it can help prevent accidents from happening because it increases visibility.

Arkansas Headlight Laws

In order to fully understand proper headlight use, it’s important to look at Arkansas legislation. According to state code, headlights are required one half hour after sunset until one half hour before sunrise, or when there is not sufficient light to see at least 500 feet ahead. Regulations say that at least two headlamps must be illuminated, and if a vehicle has any auxiliary headlights or spotlights that point forward, only a total of four lights may be illuminated on the highway.

Vehicles are not allowed to use headlamps or any other lights that are greater than 300 candle power (cp), and they cannot display colored lights that are red, blue, or green. If the driver puts any covering on a headlamp that affects the intensity and brightness of the light, then that is also illegal.

If a driver breaks any of these headlight usage laws in our state and they cause an accident, then they could be held liable for the damages that their negligence caused. When this happens, you could be eligible to file a car accident claim to hold the driver responsible for their harmful actions.

McMath Woods P.A. Is Here for You

When you’ve been injured in a crash that was caused by someone else’s improper headlamp usage, then you could use our help to get compensation for the damages you suffered. At McMath Woods P.A., we understand that a collision can change your life. That’s why we’re here to represent you and ensure that the negligent party is held liable for their actions.

We’ll investigate what happened and get to the bottom of who was responsible so that you can financially recover from this collision. While we focus on the legal side of things, you can focus on your physical and emotional healing from all of the damages you suffered. Reach out to us today so that we can get started on your claim.

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