Road Safety Awareness Week : High Beam or Low Beam Headlights?

Editor@Throttle|Updated: January 13, 2018 8:52
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High Beam or Low Beam Headlights - When to use these lights?

 
To increase your visibility to other riders and avoid hazards, it is important to switch your headlights to high beam and low beam according to the weather and the time of day while being mindful of other riders. In India, many don't know the usage of high beam lights and low beam lights, they just ride on high beams even in crowded city streets or even under the street lights, this style of riding is very dangerous and it makes other approaching vehicles and even the pedestrians blind. It is best advised to switch to low beam when you see an approaching vehicle and when the vehicle gets passed, then you can switch back to high beams to ensure safety.
 
What are high beam headlights and when to use them?
 
High beam provides an intense, centre-weighted distribution of light with no particular control of glare, and should be used only when alone on the road. They give bright, long-range illumination. They are usually used only used on highways and rural areas without much traffic or bright illumination. As high beams are very bright, be sure to switch to your low beams within 150 metres of oncoming vehicles and when you are approaching a vehicle from behind so you do not blind the rider ahead of you. It is well recommended to use the high beam during the day as it makes the rider more visible. 
 

On some vehicles, turning on the headlights allows other light systems—parking lights, tail lights, license plate lights—to be activated, so make sure you have your headlights on at night so riders around you can see you and your intentions. This may seem to be common sense, but with DRL systems, sometimes it’s easy to forget your tail lights are not on.

 

What are low beam headlights and when to use them?
 
Low beam or dipped headlights provide a light distribution to give adequate forward and lateral illumination without dazzling other road users with excessive glare. Any time, when your visibility is less than 150 metres because of heavy rain, for example, you will want to use your low beam headlights. If you were to use your high beams in thick fog, for example, the light would get reflected back to you. Low beams light up the road at short ranges, and you will mostly use them in the city. It is best to use them when it is dark and at nights for clear visibility.
 
In addition, to these, vehicles are now also fitted with DRL's (Daytime Running Lights). The purpose of daytime running lights is to increase the visibility of your bike, so that other riders can see you on the road. At night, your headlights and tail lights are illuminated, which means that it's easy for other riders to spot you. However, during the day, most riders turn their lights off and it is not as easy to spot other vehicles quickly. They are fairly dim and don't illuminate the road ahead. They have become more popular in countries in the North due to low light. 
 
The law is clear in saying that beam lights with high intensity and glare should be avoided in roads which are adequately lit and used only in isolated, dark stretches of the villages.  So let's be wise and make use of the low beam light.