Drivers urged to check their headlights as autumn draws in

17 Sep 2019

Drivers urged to check their headlights as autumn draws in

As we move further into September, it's becoming more obvious that the nights are drawing in again and we'll soon be back to commuting in the dark (sorry!).

Darker evenings are bad enough when it comes to driving, but a new survey has revealed Britons could be putting themselves and their fellow road users at even more risk by failing to ensure their headlights are in full working order.

According to the poll by Halfords, 4.6 million cars in the UK have broken or defective headlights, with many people knowingly driving around despite this.

Shockingly, seven per cent of drivers admitted to never checking their headlights are working as they should, while 12 per cent of respondents said they had made a journey with damaged headlights at least once in the past.

Under the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989, it is illegal to drive a vehicle "unless every lamp, reflector, rear marking and device ... is in good working order", while the Highway Code also states that "lights, indicators, reflectors, and number plates MUST be kept clean and clear".

Not only can a lack of headlights dramatically reduce your ability to see at night and in poor weather, but being caught without them by police could result in a £100 on-the-spot fine and three points on your driving licence.

Halfords spokesperson Laura Walsh said: "Usually you don't know when a light has gone so regular checking is essential, especially in these increased hours of darkness and often more difficult and hazardous autumn and winter conditions."

She also urged motorists not to be tempted to ignore a defective headlight in a bid to save money, as it is a false economy in the long run, particularly since faults are typically inexpensive to repair.

Going from one extreme to the other, research from the RAC back in June found many drivers believe headlights are becoming too bright on modern cars and complained they are regularly dazzled at the wheel.