In April 2015 the new Massachusetts headlight law went into effect. The law, M.G.L. Chapter 85, Section 15, requires that all drivers on public ways in Massachusetts turn on their headlights (and tail-lights) under the following conditions:
- whenever the “vehicle’s windshield wipers are needed” – this is new in 2015
- one half hour after sunset until one half hour before sunrise
- whenever visibility is less than 500 feet
Failure to adhere to the law can result in a nominal ticket however, more significantly, because this is considered a traffic violation, your motor vehicle insurance company may issue a surcharge, raising your rates for several years.
Thus, Massachusetts joins 18 other states that require that headlights be on whenever the windshield wipers are in use.
Practice Safe Driving
It is not “news” that in 2015 folks have discovered that driving with headlights on is safer. Many vehicles have running lights that are on all the time. Driving in Massachusetts’ winters, or during storms, requires extra attention for everyone. Thus, the law provides a level of safety that many states had already required.
This page is not addressing seatbelts, but wearing your seatbelt is one of the most important safety measures you can undertake each and every time you are in a motor vehicle on a public road. And it’s required whether it’s dark out or not, and whether your windshield wipers are on or not!
Will This Be A Factor in Car Accident Litigation?
Absolutely. As an attorney representing victims of motor vehicle collisions in Massachusetts, we look at all of the factors that went into an accident. If the defendant was cited for not using his or her headlights, we can show that they were violating the law. That law was enacted for safety, thus a violation of the law indicates that the driver was not operating safely.
We represent many victims of truck accidents. Collisions with trucks often involve discovery of video footage; video cameras mounted into the dashboard and permanently on. The video footage can include clear indications of headlights being on or off.
How would we get evidence of failure to use headlights into evidence? We would look at the police report. We would talk to witnesses. We would take the deposition of the driver, passengers, and any witnesses. Then we would make a determination as to how we could use the evidence we had, first with the insurance companies and then at trial. Our client’s testimony would also be critical on this issue.
Hire an Experienced Car and Truck Accident Lawyer in Massachusetts
Attorney Neil Burns has represented victims of accidents since 1985. He is an experienced Massachusetts motor vehicle accident lawyer. He is an aggressive accident lawyer who will help you resolve, settle, or litigate your case. There is no fee until he recovers money for your injuries. Call for a free consultation: 617-227-7423.