Keep Your Tail Lights Working
HeadlightsTechnical

Follow the Law: Keep Your Tail Lights Working

Admittedly, it’s hard to follow every single road law out there. Technically, if you go 1mph over the designated speed limit, you’re breaking the law, right? And if you drive at night time without your headlights on, regardless of whether or not it’s a mistake, that’s breaking the law too, right? The answer: yes! But, these laws are made for public policy reasons that include safety and the good of the public at large. These laws are for nothing more than living in a place where we are free to do what we want, all the while being safe and orderly.

Along those same lines, when it comes to owning a car, it’s the responsibility of the owner to follow the laws. By keeping your car in good condition, you’re not putting other people’s safety at jeopardy every time you’re taking a quick drive to the grocery store or down the street to your office on Monday morning. Cars are extremely dangerous and it’s something we all forget. Every time you get into your car, you’re sitting on a fluffy cushion, surrounded by thousands of pounds of heavy-duty machinery.

Law and order: SUV (get it… like SVU, but a car)

The laws that govern our cars and our roadways have been created to ensure the utmost safety on roads and to decrease any harm that may occur as a result of driving. It’s quite simple. The act of driving becomes mundane and just another part of your day, but we think it’s important to be reminded of the dangers that come with it. Remembering that danger keeps us more cautious as safer drivers. If we were all a bit more careful during our trips in the car, the world might be a little bit safer each and every day.

And keeping with the safety theme, it’s absolutely essential to keep your car’s headlights and tail lights working properly. Not only is it the law, but it’s in your best interest for a variety of reasons.

The most unholy, difficult, stressful, I-have-literally-no-time-for-this situation: the soft bump from behind.

What’s more annoying than this? Driving safely and according to the law, you’re making your way downtown, driving not so fast, faces past, and you stop at a red light. But the car directly behind you does not plan on stopping in time. Surely, he/she has already made up her mind and under no circumstances would he/she stop a few inches short of your bumper. So, that driver hits you from behind — not severely, but just enough to cause some damage and take a few hours out of your day waiting for the police to arrive and to exchange insurance information. But this will last far more than just a few hours. Your insurance companies will fight each other. Nothing is easy in this situation and nobody wins (months of headaches from insurance stress included).

What is the best, easiest way to avoid this treacherous interaction? Having working tail lights for you, and working headlights for the person that hit you. This is the most common type of accident that happens when someone has tail lights or brake lights that don’t properly work. At nighttime especially, how can the person behind you expect to make a clean stop if he or she can’t even see your car from 50 feet away? What’s the point in there even being tail lights if you don’t use them for their entire designated purpose of being turned on at nighttime? Whether you have a 93’ Mustang that needs a new tail light, or a Ford truck, we’ve got your back.

Simply put, use some caution when it comes to operating your vehicle at night! Make sure that when you get in your car at nighttime, you turn on your lights. And NOT just your daytime running lamps — this will only turn on the tiny strips of light at the front of your car and absolutely nothing in the rear of your car. Your time is much more precious than to be dealing with someone hitting you from behind at 5mph because you forgot to turn on your lights at night.

If it’s broken, fix it

Being bumped from behind at a very slow speed may be time-consuming and annoying, but your safety is kept in place. If that’s all that happens from not having working tail lights or brake lights, consider yourself extremely lucky. Some people are not as lucky. Some drivers, who have broken tail lights or brake lights are hit at much higher speeds (again, this is especially true at night). It’s scary and terrible to be involved in a serious accident like this, which is why the law requires working tail lights. It’s a simple solution to decreasing accidents and increasing precaution. For this reason, police have no problem pulling people over and ticketing them for not having tail lights on or working. What a silly thing to get a ticket for! Avoid this unnecessary cost and buy new tail lights if yours are broken, or simply remember to turn them on if it’s nighttime. At night, it’s the law. During the rain, it’s the law. Be safe!

There is absolutely no reason that you should be driving around without working tail lights! We understand that taking time out of your day to get this issue fixed may be frustrating or seem unimportant, but it is by far the most important thing you will do all day so as to keep you and your passengers safe. There are extremely affordable options out there that can be delivered directly to your door so that your car’s tail lights will be as good as new. This goes for headlights as well. Take the time and keep your family, friends, and the roads safer.

Cristofer Montel
Cristofer Montel is a South Florida Native, swearing that Boca Raton is much more than just a retirement destination for Northerners. He went to Florida State University for his Bachelors degree and then on to Nova Southeastern University for law school. In his spare time, he scrolls through pages and pages of car content on Instagram. When he’s not drowning in legal work, he writes for a marketing and advertising consultancy

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    8 Comments

    1. I definitely agree with the safety of changing and updating tail lights. People fail to realize that this will increase visibility on their end as well as other drivers.

    2. I actually never thought people hit cars from the rear because of their headlights. I just thought they weren’t paying attention. This definitely gives me a new perspective.

    3. most new vehicles have collision avoidance built in to the tail light so you will be notified when your tail lights are not functioning.. a tree of lights on your dash will be more annoying!

    4. Is it an automatic assumption of liability if you get into an accident and your lights are out?

    5. Commercial vehicle drivers are required to check their vehicle before driving, it should be no different for daily drivers!
      No one wants the soft bump from behind

    6. This article brings up a great point. Inspecting your tail lights to make sure they are working well is important, because you probably do not inspect them as often as needed. Often times, just a bulb is burnt out, and maybe you will discover a tail, signal, or brake light that is not working correctly or at all.

    7. Don’t forget your blinkers too. If you activate your turn signal and it blinks or ticks faster than it normally would, or faster than the other side, it’s a good indication you need to replace one of the bulbs.

    8. This article didn’t mention Led upgrades for tail lights. If you swap out your incandescent brake lights for LEDs, you might avoid some car accident where some inattentive driver behind you rear-ends your car

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