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7. Vehicle Components

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19. Safety Equipment - Lighting


The Vehicle Code specifies the:

  • brightness of vehicle lights
  • number, color, and positioning of lights on vehicles
  • distance ahead and behind that may be illuminated

  • It is important that your tail, brake, head, and turn lights be in good working order.


    You should use your headlights:

  • when it is cloudy, raining, snowing or foggy
  • on frosty mornings when windshields may be icy or foggy
  • on country or mountain roads to make it easier for other drivers to see you
  • anytime you do not have enough light to see for at least 1000 feet
  • anytime it would help you see and be seen better
  • no later than 30 minutes after sunset and until at least 30 minutes before sunrise

  • You should use your high-beam headlights whenever you are having trouble seeing with your normal headlights, except:

  • when it is raining, foggy, or snowing
  • it may blind other drivers.

  • You must dim your high beams:

  • for oncoming vehicles by the time they are within 500 feet of your vehicle
  • when the vehicle you are following is within 300 feet

  • Turn Signals

    You must signal before turning, changing lanes, or otherwise entering traffic from a side road or driveway.

    You should signal during the last 100 feet before turning unless traffic conditions indicate you should start signaling earlier, such as on a freeway where you should signal for at least 5 seconds before changing lanes.

    In addition to signaling the intention to make a turn, you must check your mirrors and blind spots to make sure it is safe to complete the maneuver.

    You should not assume that just because you have signaled a turn or lane change that others can or will leave you the space to complete it.

    You must signal even when you don't see any cars around.

    You should use both arm signals and signal lights if it is difficult for others to see your signal lights.

    If you plan to turn just beyond an intersection, into a driveway or parking lot, for example, wait to signal until you are in the intersection. If you signal too early, other drivers may assume you plan to turn in the intersection and may pull out in front of you.

    Make sure that your signal is turned off after you have completed your turn or lane change.

    Other Lighting

    It is illegal to drive with only your parking lights turned on.

    You can use your hazard warning light flashers:

  • when your car breaks down on or near the roadway
  • to warn following traffic that there is an accident or dangerous condition ahead.

  • If emergency flashers are not available, you can tap your brake pedal so as to flash your brake lights to warn drivers behind you of a hazard ahead.

    The purpose of backup lights is to:

  • help avoid collisions while you are backing up at night by improving visibility
  • alert others to the fact that you are backing up or about to back up

  • Lesson Summary


    Lesson 7 Quiz

    You will now answer 5 questions to test what you learned during this lesson. You must answer all questions correctly to receive completion credit for this lesson. You may answer the questions as many times as necessary to get them right.

    You should review the lesson material if you don't do well on the quiz.

    1. The engine in your car is sometimes called:


    2. The oil warning light means that:


    3. Disc brakes work by:


    4. The ALTERNATOR:


    5. The minimum tread thickness for passenger car tires is:



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