It seems like every day, we have more distractions on the road to worry about all the time. People enjoy customizing and personalizing their vehicles to achieve their desired look. They can be fun to look at, but unfortunately some of these changes and customizations also make that vehicle hazardous on the road.
One customization is colored headlights, and they can cause a problem. In Indiana, there are bills that have been signed into place regarding headlights as a result.
Colored headlights can lead to hazards that lead to accidents. If you’ve been in an accident because of unsupported headlights, you may need to talk to Carmel car accident lawyers about your options for compensation.
Vehicle Light Requirements
In Indiana, there are very specific stipulations when it comes to headlights. The reason for those laws is to prevent injuries and accidents. Here is a quick overview:
- Yellow, blue, green, red, and other popular colors of headlights have been banned. White and amber colors are the only allowed options.
- All taillights and brake lights have to be red.
- Backup lights must be basic white.
- License plate lights must be white.
- If your vehicle has banned lights, it’s your responsibility to change them or risk a ticket.
Indiana Bans Colored Headlights
In 2021, the governor of Indiana signed a Senate bill that took colored headlights into consideration and set guidelines for lights. This includes headlights, signal lights, brake lights, and any light that supports safety in a vehicle.
Any motor vehicles, including motorcycles, are required to use only white or amber lights for their headlights based on the bill. Rules also apply to rear signals, turn signals, and more in terms of what colors can be used. We shared a brief overview above, but take a look at these specific details from the bill:
- Front Lights: Colors are banned, and only white or amber lights are acceptable
- Brake Lights: Motor vehicles must have two red brake lights
- Underbody Lights: No current restrictions
- License Plates: Lights are not required, but must be white if there are lights. Plates must be visible and set in a horizontal upright position
- Tail Lights and Stop Lamps: Must be red
- Backup Lights: May only be white or amber in color
Emergency vehicles are exempt from these laws and may use lights as needed for their vehicles.
It is also important to note that some LED lights appear blue, but they are considered to be white and are acceptable under the law.
What Led to These Changes?
There are many reasons that colored lights are no longer allowable. The first is that emergency vehicles with flashing lights and colored lights need to be distinguishable and set apart. However, colored lights on a regular vehicle can also cause distraction, reduce visibility, or lead to confusion on the road.
Indiana also enacted laws for modifications to other systems, such as the muffler, sound system, windows, engine, and frame/suspension. When a modification is added and it’s not within manufacturer approval or guidelines, it inherently leads to risks that could impact safety, handling, and performance.
Another thing that drivers should be aware of is the possibility of modifications to impact insurance, warranties, and service plans. Some insurance companies will deny coverage for modifications, especially if they were never made aware of said modifications.
Unnecessary Modifications Cause Unnecessary Risk
Modifications can certainly be fun and exciting, but in reality, they can also cause a lot of risk that could be avoided. Those colored lights are not only illegal, but they don’t really do anything for your safety on the road. They might even impede safety. And the risk isn’t just to the driver or car owner. The risk is to everyone around them on the road.
Headlights that are considered after-market might reduce visibility for another driver. You might be harder to see or recognize with some colors. Other colors may be too bright or cause confusion for other drivers.
And it’s not just lights. Any type of modification, from big wheels to colored lights to loud exhausts, can affect people on the road.
Injuries from Modified Vehicles
When a modified vehicle with colored headlights causes an accident, the driver can be held liable for those modifications, and they can often be identified as the cause of the accident.
These are some of the most common injuries from accidents like these:
- Brain and head injuries
- Fractures, sprains, and broken bones
- Burn injuries
- Back or neck injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
All of these injuries can lead to long-term treatment and high medical bills. They are life-changing.
What Can You Do If You’ve Been in an Accident?
If you’ve been injured in an accident and the vehicle has colored lights or any other type of modification, you may be eligible for compensation. Accident victims can typically seek compensation for the following damages under Indiana law:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of earnings
- Reduced capacity for earnings
- Future medical expenses
- Permanent disability or impairment
- Pain and suffering
These laws are in place for a reason. If you or a loved one has been injured, consult with Carmel car accident lawyers to seek compensation and know your options for recourse. You are not alone in this.