High beam car
Since high beams can affect the oncoming driver’s vision, you should switch to a low beam when another vehicle is within sight. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Driving in a dark narrow lane and seeing a strong flash of light from a headlight that almost blinds you - while high beams help a motorist see further, improper use can be dangerous and disorienting for other drivers. Here's what UAE Federal Traffic Law says about high beams and how to navigate nighttime roads safely.

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When should I switch on the high beam?

According to Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority’s (RTA) light motor vehicle handbook, these are the two situations in which you can switch over to a high beam:

Unlit highways – You can drive with the high beam on when you are on highways that may not have street lighting. Make sure you do not use a high beam in areas with street lighting.
Low visibility – When the view is not clear enough to drive safely.

Since high beams can affect the oncoming driver’s vision, you should switch to a low beam when another vehicle is within sight. You should also dip your headlights when you are approaching another vehicle from behind.

Article 65 of Federal Traffic Law
High beam lights must only be used on highways that do not have overhead lighting when needed to improve the view ahead. They must not be used when another vehicle is coming from the opposite direction.

What should I do when a car with a high beam is coming towards me?

While many vehicles nowadays are fitted with night mirrors, that help reduce the possibility of being blinded by the lights of a vehicle coming from behind you, if you are in a situation where a car is driving towards you with the high beam on, here is what you should do, as per the RTA Vehicle Handbook:

• Check your right shoulder and drive towards the right of your lane.
• If you are blinded by the lights, slow down and pull over until you can see again.


Steering wheel controls.
The beam signals are located on the controls (levers) near the steering wheel. The three slanted lines indicate a low beam, and three straight lines are for high beam. Once you switch to high beam, an indicator will also show up on your car’s dashboard. Image Credit: Shuuterstock

Can you switch on the high beam during fog?

According to driving tips and advice from local transport authorities in the UAE, during low visibility you should use headlights on low beam only. This is because the high beam reflects off the fog particles, and it also reduces your vision and potentially blinds others.