Motorists may be unaware that driving in the rain, snow or fog during the day without lights on could lead to a fine


The rainy season is now upon us in the UK, with spells of fog not uncommon during the winter months and now snow has been predicted in some parts of the country over the next few days.

With heavy rain, blustery snow and wintery fog comes the increased risk of accidents and motorists must drive to the conditions of the road to ensure safety, not only for themselves but for other road users too.

All drivers know that when the darkness comes, it’s time to switch on the car’s headlights so that the road ahead can be seen clearly and vehicles on the other side of the road can see what’s coming but what many motorists might not be aware of is that certain weather conditions require us to use our lights in the day time.

Motorists may be unaware that driving in the rain, snow or fog during the day without lights on could lead to a fine

Warning: Driving in daytime rain without doing this could land you a £50 fine! © Copyright David Dixon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

It states under Rule 113 of the Highway Code that a driver “MUST use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced.”

Elaborating further, Rule 226 states that headlights must be used “when you cannot see for more than 100 metres (328 feet).”

However, front and rear fog lights should only be used when visibility is “seriously reduced”, as doing so could dazzle other road users and prevent your brake lights from being seen clearly and “You MUST switch them off when visibility improves.”

If the weather deteriorates in the daytime, leading to heavy rain, periods of fog or snowy conditions and visibility is impaired, then drivers are required to switch on their headlights.

Not doing so could lead to an on-the-spot fine of £50 if caught.

Only in built-up areas where the speed limit is 20mph or 30mph does a driver not have to switch on their headlights as they are well-lit by street lights, however as a precaution it’s advisable to do so.

“Not using headlights when it is raining, at dawn or dusk, or where it is approaching darkness is utterly foolhardy,” said Rodney Kumar, spokesman for IAM RoadSmart, adding: “It takes no effort at all to turn that switch and put them on.”

A lot of today’s modern cars now feature day running lights but not all of them switch on the rear lights automatically, so please be aware.


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