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Headlights aren't only for night driving

I see other drivers not using their headlights when it's raining or near sunset. Should their headlights be on?

— Sandy, Medford

The Oregon Driver Manual states headlights must be turned on from sunset to sunrise and any time conditions such as rain, snow or fog make it difficult to see people or vehicles 1,000 feet ahead. This helps other drivers see your car and gives you an extra safety margin while driving.

Drivers must also use headlights at dusk. After sunset there is still visible light in the sky, known as twilight. Dusk is defined as the last stages of twilight. So when you're driving after sunset, but with the last few glimmers of light in the sky, turn on those headlights. 

On a related note, dim your headlights when an oncoming car is within 500 feet and when you're following another vehicle within 350 feet. It is a practical safety measure so other drivers are not blinded by high-beam headlights. 

Using your headlights increases safety for drivers and pedestrians alike. Pedestrians and other vehicles are more visible to you, and you to them.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. To see a collection of columns, go to mailtribune.com/youasked. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.