Your vehicle has several different positions or settings for the headlights, and it is important that you learn how to use them appropriately and in the right situations. It is also important to recognize when the high beams are not working properly, so you can get them fixed.
What Do the High Beams Do?
The high beams will provide you with a much greater view of the road ahead, making it easier to see everything that’s ahead of you at night at a much greater distance than your standard headlight setting. They will also make your vehicle more visible.
When Should You Use High Beams?
The only time that you should use high beams on your vehicle is when you are in a rural area, or when you are on a highway and you are not passing through a town or urban area. You should never use high beams when you are following directly behind someone, as it can hit their rearview mirror and make it difficult for them to see, creating a dangerous situation. If there are other vehicles coming towards you, switch to your regular beams.
Reacting to High Beams
When other drivers have their high beams on, it can cause a substantial amount of glare and even temporary partial blindness. If a vehicle is approaching you and they have on their high beams, do not look directly at them. Instead, focus your gaze on the right side of the road until the vehicle passes. If someone is behind you and using the high beams, you may want to find a spot to pull over and let them pass.
When the High Beams Do Not Work
In some cases, drivers might find that their high beams are not working properly. This can occur for a number of different reasons. In most cases, the problem stems from a blown bulb, which is relatively easy to diagnose and replace. However, if the high beams are still not working properly, it could be because of faulty wiring, a blown fuse, or an issue with the high beam control or a bad high beam relay.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as 4 Essential Things to Know About Your Car’s High Beams and was authored by Valerie Johnston.