Since it’s getting a little darker a little sooner these days, we tend to use our headlights a little earlier if we’re out after dinner. Have you ever had both of your headlights burn out at the same time? Would you know what to do if that happened to you while driving on a dark highway at night?
I remember many years ago when I was out with my friends and my headlights burned out. I had to travel from one small town to a nearby city along a dark highway. I followed another vehicle closely so I could use their headlights as my own. Pretty smart, huh? Well, once we got into the city, I pulled into the same parking lot that the driver I was following entered to thank him for allowing me to follow him. He admitted he never saw me in his mirror over the 30 minute drive. What a frightening thought that was!
The best thing to do if your headlights suddenly go out while driving at night is to continue to look where you want to go. Even though you may not be able to see the road, your vehicle will still go where you’re looking. And besides, you will still know where the road is going for a few more seconds, mainly because your headlights had just gone out. To help you to avoid using up what knowledge you had of the road ahead, reduce your speed as well. This will give you more time to control the situation.
Now you’re ready to attempt to gain back some of your visibility. Try your other headlight beams. If you had high beams on, try your low beams. If you had low beams, try high beams. They are often on different fuses, so they may work for you. If these won’t work for you, you’ll need to put on your hazard lights. This will help to warn anyone who may be approaching your direction, plus the brief flash of light will help you see at least some of the road.
Since the other headlights won’t work for you, you’ll now need to drift gently toward the edge of the road so you can gently feel for the shoulder. Once you know the shoulder is next to you, reduce your speed and drift completely onto the shoulder and stop. Having an auto club membership would certainly come in hand at this time. No one really wants to get out of their vehicle on a dark highway at night because that’s when the boogey man and werewolves come out!