How To Use Car Lights | Learn to drive: Car Knowledge

How To Use Car Lights  |  Learn to drive: Car Knowledge


There are many different lights on a car,
and they all serve different purposes. Some lights are to help us see ahead, some are
there to help others see us, and some are there to help us communicate. In this video
we will show how we use our car’s lights effectively to stay as safe as possible, without
causing any unnecessary confusion or danger. Before we start, make sure you subscribe to
our channel and click the bell icon so you are alerted when we upload a new video. Also,
we love to read your comments – so please scroll down and let us know what you think! Our car is a 2018 Ford Fiesta, which is a
very common car in the UK. The position of the light controls will vary on other cars,
but since the light icons are usually similar it shouldn’t be too difficult to locate
where everything is. Just be sure you are familiar with everything before setting off,
as looking for a switch while driving could be very distracting. If needed, look in the
car’s manual for guidance. In the UK all new car models made from 2011
have been fitted as standard with Daytime Running Lights, or DRLs. These are simply
white lights on the front of the car that are permanently lit when the engine is running.
They are intended to make a car more visible in poor lighting conditions, which should
reduce the chance of an accident where another driver doesn’t see us approaching. It is
worth noting that DRLs do not turn on any of the car’s rear lights, so we will need
to do this manually when driving in poor visibility. Side lights are small white lights at the
front of the car, combined with the red tail lights at the rear of the car. They are selected
by using the first position on the car’s light switch. These should be used when we
need to make ourselves more visible, such as when driving in the evening or stopping
at the side of the road. These smaller lights won’t consume much power from the battery,
so it is safe to leave them on without the engine running for a few hours if needed. Dipped headlamps are powerful front lights,
that will light the road in front of our car without dazzling oncoming traffic. When we
switch on the dipped headlamps the red tail lights also illuminate. These should always
be used when driving at night, but are also useful when there is poor visibility during
the daytime. When driving in poor weather conditions such as rain or fog, we should
use our dipped headlamps as they will make us much more visible than using smaller lights
such as side-lights or daylight running lights. The light beam is aimed down to light the
road for around 30 metres ahead, which is great when driving at lower speeds or in urban
areas with street lights. Some cars have an extra setting on the main
light switch for automatic control of the lights. This will usually switch the car’s
dipped headlamps on when the ambient light drops in the early evening. This is convenient,
but we must still remember to manually switch on the dipped headlamps when driving in poor
weather during the daytime, as the car’s light sensor cannot detect fog or rain. The main beam setting on the headlamps will
give a floodlight that will light the road ahead for at least 100 metres. It is selected
by pushing the indicator stalk forwards, and a blue warning light on the dashboard confirms
main beam is on. To turn it off on this car we pull the indicator stalk towards us. Main
beam is useful when driving out of town where there are no street lights – as it will allow
us to spot bends or hazards far earlier than when using dipped headlamps. We must remember
to turn off main beam when we meet other traffic so that we don’t dazzle other drivers. We
can also pull the stalk towards us to flash the main beam lights. This can be used to
make other people aware of our presence – but we must be careful not to mis-use them and
confuse or intimidate others. Most cars have front fog lights, and every
car has a rear fog light. These are very bright and make us more visible when driving in fog.
On this car we turn them on with the buttons beside the main light control switch. The
Highway code states that we must only use fog lamps once there is less than 100 metres
of visibility. The fog lamps do make us more visible, but they will dazzle other drivers
if misused so we must remember to turn them off once visibility improves. Many modern cars now have cornering lights
that automatically turn on when we are driving with dipped headlamps. Some cars use the fog
lights individually, and other cars have separate light units. The car monitors the steering
angle and indicator use, and turns on the light on the inside of the turn to give a
wider field of view than the dipped headlamps normally have. This can be helpful when making
tight turns or manoeuvring at night. The reverse lights on the rear of the car
turn on automatically when we select reverse gear. These are not only useful for reversing
at night, but also as a signal to other drivers or pedestrians. Using the reverse lights to
show that we intend to reverse can be useful when there is someone close behind the car
– although we must keep checking all around the car anyway, just in case. The brake lights will of course light up every
time we press the brake pedal. As with the reverse lights, we can use them to signal
to following traffic if needed. If we see danger ahead of us, and that the vehicle behind
is very close, we can press the brake pedal very gently at first to show our brake lights
for a few seconds before we brake more firmly. Using our brake lights in this way will give
following drivers extra time to react and start braking their car. The car’s indicators are usually controlled
by the left stalk, and on modern cars they work in two ways. If we move the stalk up
or down gently the indicator will flash 3 times, and then stop on it’s own – this
is sometimes useful when changing lanes or leaving a roundabout. If we move the stalk
fully up or down the indicator will flash continuously until it cancels automatically
as we steer the car, or we cancel it manually,. There are no rules in the Highway Code stating
when we must use our indicators, but the general principle to remember is that we should indicate
when it will make our intentions clearer to other people, be that other drivers or pedestrians.
However, mis-use of our indicators, such as indicating at the wrong time, or when unnecessary
could actually cause confusion and danger – so we need to consider when to use them
carefully. The hazard warning lights are switched on
with their own button, which then flashes all 6 indicators at once. They should be used
whenever we need to warn other drivers that there is a hazard – so if we have a problem
with our car or spot trouble ahead we can use the hazard lights to show that we will
be slowing down or stopping in an unusual place. So, remember to;
Learn how your car’s light controls work Use dipped headlamps if visibility is poor
Only use fog lamps when necessary Reverse and Brake lights can be used as a
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