Driver Knowledge Tests Menu

At night, when you approach an oncoming vehicle, you should: At night, when you approach an oncoming vehicle, you should:

  • A. Put your lights on high beam, to make your vehicle more easily seen.

  • B. Not look at its headlights, but keep left and watch the left of the road.

  • C. Carefully watch the vehicle by looking directly at its headlights.

    The correct answer is B
    Correct. Looking at the left of the road will allow you to judge where you are without being dazzled by the oncoming vehicle's lights.

Using high beam headlights

High beam headlights can dazzle oncoming drivers making it difficult for them to see the lanes and hazards on the road, and they can also affect drivers you are following by being too bright in their rear view mirror. You should be at least 200m behind the vehicle in front to have your headlights on full beam. If an oncoming vehicle is closer than 200m away you need to dip your headlights, too.

You can use your full beam headlights even if there are streetlights, but be courteous to road users other than cars, such as cyclists and pedestrians.

You should dip your headlights if a police officer is directing traffic.

If you want to park your vehicle for a short time, and it is night time, keep the vehicle as visible as possible without compromising other road users - pick a visible position and leave your parking or hazard lights on. 

High beam headlights can usually be activated by pushing the headlight control wand forwards, after which a blue light will appear on your dashboard; some vehicles differ in how this operates, though.

Avoid looking at the headlights of oncoming vehicles because it will cause your pupils to contract and make you less able to see hazards. If you are dazzled, look at the left of the road, slow down and stop if necessary until your eyes recover.

You are allowed to briefly flash your headlights immediately before starting an overtaking manoeuvre to help warn the driver ahead of you that you are overtaking.

Some new cars have automated cancellation of the high beam headlights, though these systems are still not perfect, and have the problem of drivers getting out of the habit of checking their lights themselves.

Other new technology uses an LED matrix to mask the high beam light from other drivers while still allowing the beam to illuminate the road ahead.