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How Can Headlights Reduce the Risk of Tennessee Car Accident Injuries?

Posted on in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Campbell County auto accident injury attorney

During the winter months when the sun sets sooner and rises later, it is important for people to drive with their vehicles' headlights illuminated. Headlights are the most important equipment while driving in low-light conditions or darkness, because they allow the driver to see the roadway ahead. If a driver cannot see, he or she will be unprepared for obstacles in the road, in addition to other vehicles or pedestrians who are crossing the road. Not using headlights can lead to motor vehicle collisions and injuries that can range from minor to serious.

Tennessee’s Requirements for Using Headlights

According to Tennessee law, drivers must use their headlights starting a half-hour after sunset until a half-hour before sunrise. Lights must be visible from at least 200 feet away so that drivers have plenty of time to see each other on the road before getting too close.

In rainy or snowy conditions, natural light can be dulled, even during the daytime. Because of this, drivers are required to use their headlights to ensure visibility. For most of today's cars, this is not a problem, because headlights automatically turn on if there is not enough light to drive safely.

If a car's headlights are not illuminated when they should be, the driver can be issued a traffic citation and a mandatory fine. The motorist may also be charged with a Class C misdemeanor for a lack of proper lights. The state of Tennessee took this law further two years ago by making it mandatory that all headlights be either white or amber in color. Popular colors that were used before this law was amended included:

  • Red

  • Blue

  • Green

  • Yellow

Tennessee decided that since emergency vehicles (police cruisers and ambulances) use these multicolored lights, it was confusing for other drivers to see these headlights on the road. Making these colored headlights illegal makes the roads safer and ensures that emergency vehicles are easier to be seen at night.

What Are the Risks of Driving Without Headlights?

During the day, it is generally safe to not use headlights, because the sun gives enough light to see the road ahead. However, at night or in bad weather, headlights are necessary to avoid car-on-car, car-on-pedestrian, or car-on-cyclist collisions.

If drivers choose not to illuminate their car headlights at night, they run the risk of being struck because other drivers cannot see them. Worse, they can hit an obstacle or a person that they may not have seen because their lights did not make them visible. Common damages and injuries that can result from these types of car accidents include:

  • Broken/fractured bones

  • Cuts and bruises

  • Head and spine injuries

  • Wrongful death

  • Damages to a vehicle’s front and/or back end

  • Damages to a vehicle’s doors and/or side mirrors

  • Damage to property (mailboxes, street signs, electrical poles)

Should a collision occur, the driver who did not have their headlights illuminated will be considered at fault and will be required to pay compensation for any damages and/or injuries to the victims.

Contact a Jacksboro, IL Personal Injury Lawyer

Victims of a car accident resulting from a driver not using proper headlights should seek legal help immediately after the police report and damages have been assessed. If you were hurt in a collision, a lawyer from the Law Offices of William F. Evans can help you demonstrate that your injuries were caused by another driver's negligence, and we will help you recover the compensation that fully addresses the damages you have suffered. To schedule a free consultation with a Campbell County car accident attorney, call our office today at 423-449-7980.

 

Sources:

https://www.lawserver.com/law/state/tennessee/tn-code/tennessee_code_55-9-406

https://newschannel9.com/news/local/new-headlight-law-goes-in-effect-monday-in-tennessee

 

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