Do Headlights Need To Be On During Foggy Conditions?
Wow, we woke up to some heavy fog this morning, didn't we? I was talking to a co-worker about the drive into work today, navigating through the fog, and how much fun it wasn't.
He mentioned that he almost was involved in a crash just backing out of the driveway of his home. As he slowly backed out of his driveway and onto the street, luckily he was moving slow enough and had quick reflexes as a vehicle suddenly appeared zipping past his driveway. Problem was, that motorists didn't have the headlights lit, so it was almost impossible to see this oncoming vehicle.
He asked me if I knew what, if any, are the rules for driving in foggy conditions on New York State roads. I didn't really know and don't have to worry about it since my van always has the headlights turned on when I'm driving.
So, I checked the New York State Department of Motor Vehicle website for clarification. This is what I found out:
"Rain, fog or snow make it harder to see through your windshield, and difficult for other drivers to see you. New York State law requires you to turn on your headlights when the weather conditions require the use of windshield wipers to clear rain, snow, sleet or fog." - NYS DMV
You would think all motorists know to turn those lights on during these weather conditions, but apparently not. And I've seen vehicles with no lights on during rain and snowstorms. It's such a dangerous situation.
And by the way, daytime headlights don't count as headlights according to the NYS DMV. And it also mentions a good suggestion to use your low beams when driving in conditions such as rain, snow, and fog. High beams will reflect back on those elements and can make it harder to see what is ahead of you. especially during nighttime driving.
I can attest to that. Many times, I have driven to work from camp in Pennsylvania during the months that it's still dark around 6 a.m., and driving on rural, hilly, and winding roads with snow or rain falling or foggy conditions make for a stressful ride. Stay safe. Turn those headlights on in fog, snow, and rain conditions.