How To Use The Lights Of A Vehicle Correctly

It is not surprising an article such as the above is late being written. Such an article, as a matter of fact is not easy to pen. To explain use of lights of a vehicle correctly, I will quote a popular model to be used as an example.

The usage of the lights pertains to our country Malaysia only. Neighboring countries, especially Singapore and Thailand may have different rules and regulations regarding use of lights respectively.

The recommendations regarding the ideal use of lights may or may not be suitable to be used either in Singapore or even Thailand.

This article will use the lights system of the popular model – Proton Saga 1300 cc vehicle as an example. It is believe this car has similar lighting system with other popular models of the same cc capacity such as the Nissan Sunny 1300 cc and Proton Iswara.

Basically, the light system incorporates:

1) Dim lights.

2) Low lights

3) High lights.

Some drivers, especially “P” drivers and drivers with little experience, may or may not know when to use the above 3 types of lights in the correct manner.

First, we shall endeavor to talk about what’s known as the “dim lights”.

When are these lights to be used?

Ideally, dim lights are to be used preferably at dawn (before sunrises) or daybreak. Dusk or twilight time, meaning the brief period before the sun sets is yet another time for its usage.

These are 2 extras ordinary times of the day, which are not suitable to use the dim lights of a car. Do not forget when applying dim light, the car is lit up both in front and the rears ends, enabling it to be seen by other vehicles users.

Besides the above 2 times mentioned, dim lights can also be used during slight drizzle or rain. Visibility then is poor. Using dim lights under such weather conditions, enhances the possibility of a vehicle being seen, this promoting added safety.

At certain times, even during the day, there is an over cast, the sky appears darkened, resembling night time. Visibility is bad. A good driver should realize, now is the correct time to use dim lights.

If the conditions should worsen, proceed to put on the low lights, as you are expected to do during the night.

One further example as to when to use dim lights. Should you decide to park momentarily on a road shoulder, especially during the night, and fear your vehicle cannot be seen too clearly by other road users, install the dim lights by all means.

Next, let’s move on to the low lights or some call it the “small lights”. These lights are normally used at night. Failure of a driver not using these small or low lights entails a RM150 fine, contravening Section 119 (2) of the Road Transport Act 1978.

Where are these small or low lights to be used?

Use them in town areas. Even in housing estates. When following behind cars or when you see a vehicle approaching you, use the small or low lights.

Do not use high lights when following a car in front of you. It creates a glare to the driver in front, creating great difficulty to the driver and it affect the driver’s overall vision.

In the case of Singapore island, where the entire city is enveloped in bright lights, there is a law which prohibits a driver from using low lights in town or city areas. Using even low lights in the city itself, will make the city too bright and glaring.

This the Singapore authorities has made it mandatory for drivers to use only dim lights when driving in the vicinity of the city.

Low lights can only be used when drivers are out of the city, where the conditions are slightly darker.

Where and when are high lights to be used?

In Malaysia, it is not recommended to be used in towns. Except, maybe in dark areas, be it in towns or housing estates.

When following behind a car in front of you, do not use high lights. Why, has already been explained earlier.

When you see a car approaching you, and you’re using high lights, ideally you’re advised to lower your lights immediately. Not doing so will create a glare thereby hampering the on-coming driver’s visibility.

When you’re driving out of the city, into the suburbs, the “kampung” areas and you’re traveling fast, speeding away, now is the time to use your high lights.

Should you see a car approaching in front of you, be a good polite driver and lower your high lights instantly.

Another position where you can use the high lights is when you’re overtaking a vehicle. Drawing abreast the car you’re about to overtake, communicate with the driver by flicking your high lights to let the driver know your intention of overtaking him.

The above are some of the ways to use high beams or lights.

In the process of explaining how to use dim, low and high lights, inevitably some facts are inadvertently forgotten to be mentioned. My apology for such mistakes happening.

Do read this article carefully. Hopefully, it may help you using the lights of your car in a correct and appropriate manner.

By | 2012-09-22T10:04:35+08:00 December 10th, 2009|Driving Safety|4 Comments

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  1. fred August 3, 2010 at 12:00 am - Reply

    i think your suggestions are right and am really appreciating thanks

    • Cikgu Yap August 3, 2010 at 10:25 pm - Reply

      Happy the article seems to benefit you.

  2. Suzuki September 13, 2013 at 1:19 am - Reply

    Now European Countries trying to adopt a new driving habit, turning on the headlights when driving in the daylight (for those vehicles doesn’t have Daytime Running Lights).

    Is that a fault or any regulations in Malaysia that does not allow Malaysians driver to turn on their lights when driving on daytime ?

    Thanks !

    • Cikgu Yap September 19, 2013 at 9:46 am - Reply

      Malaysian rules do not prohibit you installing your headlights during the day.

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