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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Is It Illegal to Drive with High Beams on in Indiana? What To Know

Many drivers in Indiana wonder about the headlight laws in this state. They might have gotten a ticket for light violations or just wish to know more. Typically, new drivers want to do everything right when using headlights, so they seek assistance, and this blog will help.

The Indiana Code claims that a motor vehicle must have functioning headlights from sunset to sunrise. Likewise, it extends to using the headlights in inclement weather and whenever visibility is 500 feet or less. If a person fails to comply, they might receive a fine and other impacts. Let's learn more about the headlight laws in this state and how an injury law firm can help.

Indiana Law on Headlights

Indiana Law on Headlights

Headlights are crucial safety features for motor vehicles because they help drivers see in different conditions. However, Indiana drivers must understand the headlight laws in this state to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also answer questions like what does a personal injury lawyer do?

Let's dive in:

Using Headlights in the Daytime

Indiana law claims that drivers can use their headlights during sunset to sunrise. However, they can also use them in the daytime in these conditions:

  • Reduced Visibility - This includes rain, fog, snow, or other weather conditions, and the driver should use headlights on the vehicle.

  • Highways - Drivers should use the vehicle headlights when on Indiana highways, regardless of time.

Using Headlights on Motor Vehicles at Night at a Sufficient Intensity

Ultimately, the Indiana Code claims that drivers must use headlights from sunset to sunrise. However, this extends to any time of day when the visibility is 500 feet or less.

If driving on an interstate or highway, the headlights must be used, regardless of visibility. Likewise, drivers should dim the headlights when approaching an oncoming vehicle at 500 feet or whenever they're following another vehicle at 200 feet.

Using Headlights on a Motor Vehicle in Inclement Weather

Again, the Indiana Code claims that drivers must use their headlights whenever they drive in inclement weather, such as fog, hail, sleet, snow, and rain. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also advise on questions such as is a golf cart street legal in Indiana?

Headlights should also be used if visibility is under 500 feet or if the windshield wipers are moving.

Using High Beams Correctly

In a sense, the Indiana Code allows the use of high beams when a person is driving on highways or roads outside the city limits. However, drivers are required to dim the headlights and use low beams when they approach another vehicle (oncoming vehicle) within 500 feet or if they're following another vehicle at 200 feet.

It's crucial to use high beams properly. If one doesn't, they could temporarily blind oncoming cars, reducing their visibility on the road.

Likewise, drivers shouldn't use high beams during inclement weather because they might reflect off the rain, fog, or snow, reducing visibility even more.


While it's crucial to follow the headlight laws for safety reasons, here are some exceptions to the rule:

  • Emergency Vehicles - An emergency vehicle (ambulance, fire truck, or police car) is exempt from the Indiana headlight laws. These vehicles have special lights, allowing them to be seen on the road. Typically, they use flashing lights and sirens to warn other drivers to move to the right edge of the road.

  • Construction Vehicles - A construction vehicle (excavator, crane, or bulldozer) is also exempt from the headlight law in Indiana. These vehicles often have special lighting so that they can operate in construction zones in low-light conditions.

  • Law Enforcement Vehicles - Typically, a law enforcement vehicle is exempt from the headlight law in Indiana. They might operate in low-light conditions for stakeouts and surveillance. Ultimately, law enforcement vehicles must adhere to all other traffic regulations and laws.

Consequences for Violating the Headlight Laws in Indiana

Headlights are important for any vehicle because they offer safety and visibility for passengers, pedestrians, and drivers. The headlight laws in Indiana are enforced to protect everyone on the road.

If someone violates the law, they could see significant consequences, such as points on their driver's license, fines, and higher insurance rates.

Points on the Driver's License

If one violates the headlight laws in Indiana, they could get points on their driver's license. Not using headlights during inclement weather or using high beams incorrectly can lead to two points on the license. However, driving without headlights could result in four points.

When one has too many points on their license, this can lead to revocation or suspension.


The fine for violating the headlight law varies based on the offense and can include:

  • Not using headlights while driving - $500 fine

  • Using high beams incorrectly with oncoming cars present - $150

  • Driving without headlights - $1,000

Insurance Impacts

Violating the headlight laws in Indiana might impact a person's insurance rates. The company might view such violations as a higher risk.

If one receives a ticket for violating the headlight law, such as not switching to low beams with oncoming traffic present, their insurance rates could increase. Likewise, multiple violations might lead to the insurer refusing to offer coverage at all.

How to Properly Use High Beams

How to Properly Use High Beams

Using the high beams incorrectly could be a safety hazard and also violates the headlight laws in the state. Here are tips for using them properly:

  • Using High Beams in Rural Areas - When driving in a rural area with no or few streetlights, it's appropriate to use high beams for improved visibility.

  • Turning Off High Beams as Other Vehicles Approach - It's crucial to turn off the high beams when approaching an oncoming driver or when behind another vehicle. Switch to low beams.

  • Using High Beams in Inclement Weather - When driving in heavy rain, fog, or snow, high beams might improve visibility. However, it's wise to turn them off if other vehicles are in the surrounding area.

Why Hire a Law Firm After Being Injured Because of High Beams

The headlight laws are in place to protect people and keep them safe. If an oncoming driver did not shut down their bright headlights and caused an accident, the victim has a right to seek compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. Please contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys or use the online contact form to request a free consultation.


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