Lights on the car – free driving licence theory

Different types of lights

Dipped headlights

The norm is to use a combination of dipped headlights and parking lights. There are however prohibited light combinations:

  • Dipped headlights + fog lights = prohibited
  • Dipped headlights + daytime running lights = prohibited
  • Dipped headlights + auxiliary high beam lights = prohibited
  • Fog lights + daytime running lights = prohibited

Full beam headlights

You are not allowed to user your full beam headlights here because there is oncoming traffic. Furthermore, the road is sufficiently lit.

You are not allowed to user your full beam headlights here because there is oncoming traffic. Furthermore, the road is sufficiently lit.

Full beam headlights are the car’s most powerful lights. Use them as often as you can when it is dark outside. As full beam headlights are so strong, they may dazzle other road users. It is prohibited to use full beam headlights under the following circumstances:

  • When oncoming vehicles are so close that the driver can be dazzled (also applies to trains, trailers and vessels).
  • When you are behind another vehicle (the driver is dazzled through their mirrors).
  • When the road is sufficiently lit by daylight or street lights.

You do not need to dim your full beam headlights for pedestrians. Pedestrians can easily avoid being dazzled by looking away. With full beam headlights you can see pedestrians more clearly, which is important from a safety perspective.

If you approach a junction with a lot of traffic, it may be a good idea to turn off the full beam headlights as you otherwise risk dazzling the crossing traffic.

If you approach an oncoming lorry at the crest of a hill, you must dim your full beam headlights as soon as you see the position lights on the roof, as the driver’s cab is positioned high up in relation to private cars.

Full beam headlights often enable you to see better. Sometimes, however, it can be the opposite. If you are driving in heavy fog or snow, try switching to dipped headlights to see if visibility improves.

In order to avoid being dazzled by oncoming cars at night-time, fix your gaze on the right-hand side of the road.

Indicators

As a rule, indicators are placed at the back, front and sides of the car. They are to be used when you intend to:

  • Turn right or left.
  • Change lane.
  • Turn around.
  • Pull out from the side of the road.
  • Manoeuvre the car sideways in any other notable manner.

Important clarification regarding the use of indicators

Warning sign
I am driving on a priority road and see this sign. Do I need to indicate if I intend to continue to the right?
– Yes, you must show the other road users what you intend to do.


2 lanes
I have positioned my car in the left-hand lane. Do I need to indicate left when I turn?
– Yes, oncoming traffic cannot see the arrows on the ground.

Hazard warning lights

Hazard warning lights must be used in the event of an emergency stop or similar. The hazard warning lights normally use the same lights as the normal indicators. The difference is that all lights flash at the same time.

Fog lights (front).

Front fog lights are on.

Fog lights

The front fog lights have a stronger beam than the dipped headlights and are therefore more effective in fog. It is permitted to use fog lights instead of dipped headlights in daylight, but these two types may never be used in combination.

In darkness, it is only permitted to use fog lights instead of dipped headlights in the event of fog or heavy rain.

Rear fog light

Rear fog light

Rear fog light is on.

The rear fog light is a very powerful red light that is used to alert drivers behind you when visibility is drastically reduced. The rear fog light is dazzling, so it must be turned off as soon as you feel that the vehicle behind you has seen you.

Daytime running lights

Daytime running lights are used to increase the car’s visibility. When it is daylight and visibility is good, daytime running lights can be used instead of dipped headlights.

Combining daytime running lights with dipped headlights or fog lights is prohibited.

Auxiliary high beam lights

Auxiliary high beam lights can be fitted to the car in order to strengthen the full beam headlights. There are two different types of auxiliary high beam lights:

  • Cornering lamps illuminate the area close to the car so that you can see clearly along the edges.
  • Spot lights cast a narrow beam forward so that you can see further up ahead.

Parking lights

Symbol for parking lights.

Symbol for parking lights. In some car instruction manuals, these may be called position lights. But the basic function remains the same – to ensure that your car can be seen in the dark.

Parking lights should be used when the car is stopped or parked in poor visibility. This is in order for other road users to see the car. The parking light is low-power and can usually be left on for many hours without draining the battery.

Rear lights

At least two red lights.

Brake lights

Red lights that come on when the brake pedal is depressed. The brake lights always emit a stronger light than the rear lights.

Reversing light

White light that comes on when the car is in reverse gear.

Rear registration plate light

Lights up automatically and illuminates the registration plate.

Correct dimming of full beam headlights

Oncoming traffic

Correct dimming of full beams, example 1.
1. Drive with full beam headlights for as long as you can. It is important that you can see what is happening on the road ahead.

Correct dimming of full beams, example 2.
2. When the full beam headlights meet on the road or when you feel that you are dazzled by the other car, it is time to switch to dipped headlights.

Correct dimming of full beams, example 3.
3. Exactly at the point when you are level with the other car, switch back to full beams.

Overtaking

Correct dimming of full beams, example 4.
1. Drive with full beam headlights for as long as you can. It is important that you can see what is happening on the road ahead.

Correct dimming of full beams, example 5.
2. When you are close to the car that you are to overtake, it is time to dim your full beams.

Correct dimming of full beams, example 6.
3. Exactly at the point when you are level with the other car, switch back to full beams.

Correct dimming of full beams, example 7.
4. Now it is the car that has been overtaken that must turn off their full beam headlights in order not to dazzle you.

Bends

Correct dimming of full beams, example 8.
At this bend, car A must switch off their full beam headlights quickly so as not to dazzle B. Car B, however, can have their full beams on for longer, as the beams are pointing away from A.

Visibility in darkness

Dark clothing without reflectors

  • Dipped headlights: 25 m
  • Full beam headlights: 150 m

Light clothing without reflectors

  • Dipped headlights: 60 m
  • Full beam headlights: 300 m

With reflectors

  • Dipped headlights: 125 m
  • Full beam headlights: 450 m

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