When am I required to use my headlights? Trooper Steve has the answer

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions.

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.

Trooper Steve was asked, “When am I required to have my headlights on?”

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“It seems like every year this question pops up,” Trooper Steve said. “This could be both a good and bad thing, so let’s address these headlights again.”

The major thing Trooper Steve asks is for drivers to always manually turn on their vehicle’s lights.

“Relying on the automatic feature that your car may have could result in not all of the vehicle’s exterior lights being turned on,” he said. “In some cases, the feature will only turn on the front driving lights.”


The use of headlights has two main functions: For you to see and for you to be seen.

“Your vehicle’s lights should be turned on anytime your wipers are on,” he added. “This would include whether the sun is up or not. In situations of dense fog or other types of inclement weather conditions, you should also turn your lights on. In these types of situations, you would never want to use your high beams.”

During normal driving conditions, a driver should have their headlights on during hours of darkness and transitional hours, one hour before the sun goes down and one hour after the sun comes up.

Here’s what the Florida statute says about headlight usage.

About the Authors:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on ClickOrlando.com, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.