Most drivers simply get into their vehicle without concerns of lighting. We need to be able to see at night and have other vehicles see us as well. This is crucial to avoid accidents.
Are all your vehicle’s lights working? Spend a few minutes to check and make sure they are all well lit (it might help to have a friend assist you).
With your vehicle running (and the parking brake applied), walk around to make sure no bulbs are burned out. That means headlights (both high- and low-beams), side lights, fog lights, taillights, and brake lights. Also, test each turn signal and make sure they are blinking properly, both front and rear. Try the emergency flashers, too.
Don't forget about the backup lights. Have your friend put the vehicle in reverse and see if they are working and clean (don’t stand directly behind the vehicle, just in case). You don't want to be blind when you're backing up at night, so all backup lamps should be lit. With rear view cameras now very common, back up lights provide an extra measure of light so that you can avoid obstacles, animals, kids, etc.
Check the inside lights, too. The instrument panel lights should be working so you can see important things such as your speed, fuel level, engine temperature, etc. The dome lights should come on when the doors open and when the switch is activated. Remember that they should not be used while driving as they can distract the driver.
If you have any bulbs out, you can head over to Old Town Automotive to have them replaced. Some are tricky to get to, plus the pros will know exactly the right replacement bulb to install. This is also a good opportunity to make sure your headlights are aimed correctly. You don't want to blind oncoming drivers and you want to be able to see as far as your vehicle is designed to see.
Always make sure you have enough stopping distance to be able to come to a complete stop within the area your headlights can light up. Precipitation, fog, and dust can all reduce night visibility, and you want to reduce your speed to be able to stop in time.
Hope you find these suggestions "illuminating!"
Old Town Automotive <br/>707.442.4556 <br/>Oldtownauto.com
Revised from content contributed by NAPA Service Assistant