High beams are often hazardous to other drivers. Drivers who use them negligently may cause accidents, making them liable for injuries and other damages. However, victims will need to be able to prove that another driver’s negligent use of high beams caused the accident when filing a claim.
When High Beams Become a Hazard
Oftentimes, drivers may try to increase visibility while driving at night by using the vehicle’s high beams to provide additional light. Drivers are expected to switch high beams off when approaching oncoming vehicles, as high beams can obstruct oncoming drivers’ vision and present a hazard. When proving negligence, plaintiffs will need to show that the driver using his or her high beams breached a “standard of care,” and that this negligence directly resulted in the injuries sustained and other damages.
Restrictions in Place for High Beam Use
There are laws that place restrictions on how drivers can use high beams. Although drivers are permitted to use high beams while driving, individuals are required to turn them off when approaching other drivers. State laws will mandate a specific distance to maintain between vehicles in which high beams should be turned off.
Restrictions are also in place for the use of high beams when approaching other vehicles from the front or from behind. If the driver neglects to turn off his or her high beams when approaching another vehicle, and an accident occurs as a result, the driver may be held liable.
Negligence may play an even bigger factor in an accident if drivers practice reckless driving with the vehicle’s high beams switched on.
When Drivers May Share Liability
In some cases, multiple drivers may share liability in high-beam accident cases. For example, when approaching a vehicle with high beams on, drivers should slow down or even stop if necessary. However, many drivers will flash their high beam lights to alert drivers who neglect to turn theirs off.
Liability in accidents involving high beams is not always clear. It can also be difficult to prove that improper high beam use led to the accident. However, an experienced accident attorney may be able to help prove that negligent use of high beams resulted in an accident and subsequent damages.