Is there anything worse than driving in the dark while it's raining or sleeting only to have an oncoming driver obliviously blinding you with their high beam, bright lights? It's even worse if these lights are the more modern high intensity beams, which already illuminate a longer distance than standard incandescent headlights... even when they aren't in "bright" mode.

Is it illegal to leave your bright lights on while passing oncoming traffic in Michigan?

There is a very specific, but in my opinion, impossible to know 500' restriction on when to dim your high beams. Our cars don't countdown the remaining distance to an oncoming driver. So, here is the official law from the state of Michigan's "What Every Driver Must Know" Driver's Training Book:

"It is illegal to use or even flash high-beam headlights within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle. Also, dim your lights for pedestrians and cyclists."

This is a civil infraction and will result in 2-points on your license.

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What are you supposed to do when someone doesn't dim bright lights while driving in Michigan?

  • You are supposed to look at the white line on the right side of the road. Don't look directly into the bright lights. It can temporarily blind you. Also, if your windshield is dirty, it makes the bright lights worse.

Is it illegal to drive behind someone with your bright lights on in Michigan?

  • We've all been blinded in our rearview and side mirrors by an oblivious driver. It is illegal to drive with your bright lights on while behind another car.

The next time you're driving don't be "that guy" driving with high beams on because you're not paying attention. We all (as a society) thank you.

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