Accident Attorney Discusses Missouri Laws on the Use of Headlights

If you have been involved in a St. Louis car crash and headlights were a factor, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

headlights car accident st louis

The darkness of the night, rain, snow, or fog can decrease a motorist’s visibility. In such conditions, use of headlights is important to decrease the risk of a St. Louis car wreck. Our attorneys would like to take this opportunity to discuss Missouri’s law regarding headlight use. Missouri law requires a vehicle’s headlights to be switched on when visibility is decreased due to fog or other weather conditions, or when the windshield wipers are in use.

In 2004, a law came in effect that dealt with the use of headlights at specific times. Section RSMo 307.020 that deals with when headlights are required were amended to include new requirements. Here is what the law reads. “When lighted lamps are required” means at any time from a half-hour after sunset to a half-hour before sunrise and at any other time when there is not sufficient light to render clearly discernible persons and vehicles on the highway at a distance of five hundred feet ahead.  Lighted lamps shall also be required any time the weather conditions require the usage of the motor vehicle’s windshield wipers to operate the vehicle in a careful and prudent manner as defined in section 304.012, RSMo.   The provisions of this section shall be interpreted to require lighted lamps during periods of fog even if the usage of the windshield wipers is not necessary to operate the vehicle in a careful and prudent manner.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reminds the drivers that it is always better to be visible then to be in an accident. Laws have been enacted in order to promote safety on the highways. The Missouri State Highway Patrol also explains that it is a good idea to slow down in bad weather conditions and to wear a seat belt and make sure that the passengers are either in an approved child restraint seat or are buckled properly when riding in a vehicle.

High Beams Vs. Low Beams

As most of us are aware, high beams are not useful in rainy or foggy conditions as they reflect off the water particles at the motorist. However, low means aim down at the road and are helpful when visibility is poor.

Lights as a Factor in Car Accident Causes

In many cases, the driver neglects to turn on his/her headlights and this leads to a collision with other vehicles or even pedestrian. If the eyewitnesses testify that at the time of the crash, one of the vehicles had not switched on headlights, the driver of that vehicle may be held liable for the crash.

If you are involved in a car accident, whether during the day or night, and lights could be a factor, make sure you talk to eyewitnesses, take photographs of the accident scene, and get all the information you can.  Speak to a qualified St Louis Automobile Accident Attorney for legal help.

Call (314) 361-4242 for a free case evaluation.

Updated: June 11, 2019