60 | Driver’s Manual
The law requires you to use your headlights
from one-half hour after the sun sets to one-half
hour before the sun rises, when visibility is less
than 1,000 feet (300 m) and when you use your
windshield wipers to clear rain, snow or sleet.
Turn your headlights on at dawn, dusk and in fog.
Even when headlights do not help you see in low-
light periods, they make it easier for other drivers
and pedestrians to see your vehicle. Do not use
parking lights or daytime lights as a replacement.
Headlights do a better job. If an oncoming driver
ﬂashes headlights at you during a period of low
visibility, it means your vehicle was dicult to see
and you should turn on your headlights.
Be considerate when you use your high beams.
Your headlights must be on low beam when you
are within 500 feet (150 m) of an oncoming vehicle
or within 200 feet (60 m) of a vehicle ahead of
you, even if the vehicle ahead is in a dierent lane.
You should also dim your lights for pedestrians
who approach you. Any fog or driving lights your
vehicle has must be arranged, adjusted or operat-
ed to avoid dangerous glare to other drivers.
If an approaching driver does not dim the
headlights, ﬂash your headlights to high beam for
a second, then return to low beam. To help avoid
the glare of approaching high beams, move your
eyes to the right. Use the road edge as a guide
until the approaching vehicle passes by.
To reduce glare from the lights of following
vehicles, switch your inside rear view mirror to the
Light from inside your vehicle or from street
lights makes it harder for you to see the road
ahead. Keep the interior roof light o and dim the
dashboard lights. Adjust your visors to reduce
glare from lights from above.
A dirty windshield increases glare from ap-
proaching headlights. Make sure your lights and
windshield glass are clean for night driving.
DRIVING IN RAIN, FOG OR SNOW
A bit of rain, snow or ice makes roads slip-
pery. Wet leaves can be slippery and hazardous.
Reduced speed and increased following distance
improve your safety under these conditions (see
Chapter 8). Take additional care on curves, turns
and expressway ramps.
In heavy rain, your tires can begin to ride on the
water that is on top of the road pavement. This
is called “hydroplaning” and can cause complete
loss of traction and control of steering. Hydroplan-
ing normally occurs at higher speeds, but it also
can occur if your tires are tread worn or not in-
ﬂated properly. When there is heavy rain, it always
makes sense to drive more slowly. If your vehicle
begins to lose traction, decrease your speed even
more. Good tires with deep tread help to
Rain, fog or snow make it harder to see through
your windshield, and dicult 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. “Daytime lights” do not qualify
Headlights on high beams reﬂect rain, fog and
snow as it falls. This makes it even harder for you
to see. For better visibility during these weather
conditions, keep your headlights on low beam.
Reduce your speed. Signal your turns further
ahead of time to give other drivers and roadway
users more warning. Brake early when you de-
crease speed behind another vehicle or come to
an intersection stop.
Some vehicles have front fog lights or front and
back fog lights, for use when heavy fog or similar
hazardous weather conditions restrict visibility.
In New York State, all fog lights must be correctly
installed and of a type approved by the Commis-
sioner of DMV. Front fog lights can be amber or
white in color. Back fog lights must be red and
can be larger than the normal back lights – they
will give advance warning of the presence of your
vehicle to the drivers behind you. When visibility
improves, you can switch o your fog lights to
reduce the glare that can bother other drivers.
HOW TO DRIVE IN WINTER
Winter is the most dicult season in which to
drive. In addition to snow and ice on the roads,
there are fewer hours of daylight.