Driving at night can be difficult when you can’t see well in the dark. While turning your bright lights on might be tempting, knowing this isn’t legal in Florida is essential. Driving with your bright lights on can be dangerous and cause accidents that require the assistance of a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer from Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath.

is it illegal to drive with brights on

Florida law regarding driving with your bright lights on

Florida law addresses drivers’ use of bright lights. According to Florida Statute 316.238, it is illegal to drive with your brights on. You must turn your high beams off if you’re within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle or 300 feet of a car in front of you.

Florida drivers should only use high beams on extremely dark, rural roads. Using your bright lights only when very few vehicles are on the road with you is important. Fog and rain aren’t valid reasons to use your high beams on Florida roadways.

Failure to adhere to the state’s high beam laws is considered a non-criminal traffic violation. It’s punishable as a moving violation. If you’re cited for driving with your brights on in Florida, you may be forced to pay a fine and can accrue points against your license.

Why driving with your high beams on is dangerous

Driving with your bright lights on poses many hazards. Misusing your high beams can lead to accidents. Using your brights is hazardous for the following reasons:

  • Bright lights can reflect fog or smoke, hindering your ability to see other vehicles, pedestrians, or animals.
  • Your brights can cause oncoming drivers to be temporarily blinded and lose control of their vehicle.
  • High beams can alter the appearance of your driving distance and cause you to misjudge the distance of the road in front of you.
  • Using your brights in traffic can irritate other drivers and lead to road rage incidents.

You may be entitled to compensation if you’ve been injured in an accident caused by someone using their bright lights inappropriately. Consult with a car accident attorney in West Palm Beach to review the details of your accident and how someone’s negligent use of high beams led to your collision. We can determine liability and discuss your options for recovering damages.

Liability in accidents caused by bright light use

If another driver’s use of their brights led to an accident, they may be liable for any injuries caused. If someone’s high beams blinded you, you could also be liable for the accident if you failed to slow down or maintain control of your vehicle. Determining liability in a West Palm Beach car accident requires you to prove certain elements of negligence.

  • The other driver had a duty of care to prevent harming you.
  • The other driver breached their duty of care by using their bright lights inappropriately.
  • The driver’s negligent use of their high beams caused your accident.
  • The accident caused you damages, including physical injuries.

If a preponderance of the evidence can prove these elements, the at-fault party compensates you for your damages. The West Palm Beach car accident attorneys at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath can investigate your accident, determine liability, and collect the evidence necessary to prove you’re owed damages.

Minimizing the risk of high-beam accidents when driving at night

A car accident can cause severe physical and mental injuries. Knowing how to protect yourself and others from injuries caused by high beams is important. Here are some tips to remember while driving at night:

  • Don’t use your high beams if your low-beam lights aren’t working. Instead, have your car serviced immediately.
  • Don’t flash your bright lights at other drivers for any reason, as they can be blinding.
  • Don’t look directly at an oncoming vehicle’s headlights. Instead, look toward the right side of the road at its white lines.
  • Keep your headlights clean to increase their effectiveness.
  • Increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Slow down to give you more time to react to hazards on the road.
  • Use your side mirrors or day-night feature on your rearview mirror to minimize glare and potential blindness from other vehicles’ lights.

Discuss your claim with a car accident lawyer in West Palm Beach

Driving with your high beams on around other drivers is illegal in Florida. At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we can help you recover damages for the injuries caused by someone’s negligent use of their bright lights. Call us at (561) 655-1990 to discuss your potential personal injury claim.