When was the last time you were cognitive of your headlights being on? Do you have daytime running lights? Are you like me and have the car headlights switched on all the time? I am fortunate that the car turns them off for me when I turn off the ignition because I would totally forget.

But when do you really need to have your headlights on when driving in New York State?

Bright headlights of a car driving on foggy winter road

Of course, New York State has something to say about this. Surprised? I think not. The legal part of it is that you need to have your headlights on for about 30 minutes before dusk at night and then for another 30 minutes after dawn in the morning.

READ ON: Do Daytime Running Lights Count as Headlights in NYS? 

What do you need to do in rain or snow with your headlights? Use brights?

Photo by Eugene Triguba on Unsplash
Photo by Eugene Triguba on Unsplash

When driving with rain or snow, I was always told not to use the brights because it causes more of a glare, and it actually makes it more challenging to see in those situations. If you have fog lights, try those, because the beams of the fog lights project down and not out like your headlights.  Try it the next time you are in a rainy or snowy situation. See if it helps.


When do motorcycles in New York State need to have their headlights on?

car in blurred motion in city street with switched on headlights in autumn

For motorcycles in New York State, your headlight needs to be on all of the time, not just in dark or rainy weather. It is a legal requirement, which you can get a ticket for in NYS.

Also, just another friendly reminder, when it is raining or snowing during the day you should have your headlights on. If you didn't learn to drive in New York State, you might not know about the 'you have your wipers on, your headlights need to be on" law in NYS.

Does Toothpaste Really Clean Your Vehicle's Foggy Headlights? [Life Hack Test]

According to Carhop.com, cloudy headlights are a relatively modern issue. Originally, car manufacturers used glass domes for the front of their headlights until sometime in the 1980s when they switched to "polycarbonate or plastic" I assume because it was cheaper. Unlike glass, plastic is more susceptible to oxidation which is caused by the UV light created naturally by the sun. Dust, debris, and road grime also contribute to clouding up your lights.

They also say toothpaste can be used to clear that cloudiness thanks to the same mild abrasives that also remove plaque and other gunk from your mouth. As someone who has to see it or try it before I believe it, I decided to give it a shot by following their steps and seeing for myself if they were right.

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