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Lights On For Safety

car driving in fog with lights on

We are safest on the road when we can see and be seen, day or night. Studies have shown that using low-beam headlights during the day reduces the risk of head-on collisions by over 20%. Automatic daytime running lights help, but don’t illuminate tail lights and should not be confused with headlights, nor should parking lights, which are for parking, not driving. The law requires headlights to be on a half-hour after sunset to a half-hour before sunrise, and whenever snow, rain, or fog limits visibility to less than 500 feet, the best practice is to always drive with low beams on, even in the daytime.

Night driving is more dangerous because the range of your lights limits visibility, and you may risk a collision when you cannot stop within the space you can see. Vermont law requires headlights that illuminate at least 150 feet ahead of a moving vehicle and 200 feet of a vehicle at rest. You should always be able to see at least the distance you will travel in 4 seconds, usually at less than 40 mph with low beams and somewhat faster with high beams, but still slower than safe daytime speeds.

Remember to dim your lights when approaching other vehicles or pedestrians, driving in fog, rain, or snow, and following another vehicle. To avoid being temporarily blinded by an oncoming vehicle, look ahead toward the right edge of the highway until the bright lights have gone by and your vision has returned to normal. This practice will also help you detect bicyclists or pedestrians who may be close to the edge of the road, keeping everyone safer.


What if I am a victim of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking and do not want my address on my license?

The Safe at Home address confidentiality program, within the Office of the Secretary of State, was implemented to serve victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking.

The goal of the Safe at Home program is to help victims who have relocated or are about to relocate, in their effort to keep their perpetrators from finding them.

Safe at Home has two components: a substitute address service and a protected records service. These services limit a perpetrator’s ability to access public information that could identify the new location of a victim who is in the program. This is not a witness protection program, rather it is a mail forwarding service.

For more information visit the Secretary of State website.