HIGH BEAM AND ITS USE:
High beam is a particularly long and linear projecting light allowing riders/drivers have substantial visual access to farther distance during dark.
WHERE IS IT USED IN GENERAL?
As per global standards, high beams are used on highways where the road is mostly one directional. It is also switched in rural areas, unknown roads and poorly lit streets where oncoming traffic is minimal to zero. High beams are used when a vehicle exceeds the average speed (50 kmph for Indian standards) to allow drivers to better visualise obstructions present at a longer distance, giving them enough time to brake in case of emergency.
WHAT IS THE FUNCTION OF HIGH BEAM?
On express-ways and freeways, the vehicles moving at high speeds need more distance to stop, for avoiding fatalities and crashes if any, hence the necessity of high beam. The focus of these distribute enough light, up to 400 feet ahead of the vehicle, allowing drivers to keep tab on what’s coming upfront. In general a high beam distribution length is twice that of low-beam. These lights are also used while driving along country side for dodging crossing cattle and sharp turns.
WHERE IT SHOULD BE AVOIDED?
It is important to turn-off high beam during oncoming traffic and while overtaking for this linear illumination source can project straight into on comers, visually blinding them. Also, while driving under city limits, it is best to turn off this form of light since there are many other vehicles that move in opposite direction. Foggy weathers are known enemies for high beams. The projection of it on fog leads to reflection hence leaving a glary un-clear path.
WHERE IS IT DANGEROUS AND WHY?
Till now we haven’t read anything that confronts on usage of high beam, right? Okay. Let’s put this in a more perspective situation then.
Suppose you are driving your car along a 2-way narrow road with no barricades, lane lining or lighting and there is this truck coming your way at a very high speed. Now that you are using high beam, the truck driver will be visually paralyzed (temporary) hence failing to judge his side of the lane therefore provoking chances for a head-on collision, vice versa for two wheelers in narrow streets and fast moving crowded zones.
The by-pass road from Anandapuram to Pendurthi is a very good example for the above described scenario.
HOW CAN WE OVERCOME THIS?
Perception on proper usage of high beam is in fact the best solution. Many drivers have no idea on where to use it and apparently apply them for easy visual feedback regardless of where the vehicle is being driven. Like helmets, it is necessary to instruct public on application of high beam for rising awareness over its usage. Sign boards and write-ups at traffic junction will further help in spreading knowledge. So will sharing this article!