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NMHSteve

Headlights and Rain - Insurance Claim

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I was involved in an accident in which I was on the street and was going to change lanes from the right lane to the left lane to turn in approximately 100 yards. The conditions at the time were raining (enough to require wiper use by both parties) and cloudy. When I made my lane change I hit a black Dodge Charger that did not have it's headlights on. The insurance company is saying that I would still be at fault even though any reasonable person would be driving with their headlights on in those conditions.

I have pictures taken from the scene which clearly show rain falling, and show both vehicles with wiper blades on, and with my headlights on, but not on their car. The claims adjuster is using his personal knowledge (he works in a city 20 miles east of where the accident happened, and was not in the area at the time) to say that he didn't need his lights or wiper blades.

Is there any case precedent that would be admissible in Texas showing that a reasonable person would have their lights on in a inclement weather condition? Or are there any laws that would be related to this in the Texas Department of Transportation Code?

Thank you,

Steven

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Here is a link to the Texas driver's handbook. There is reference to headlights in rain on page 53 (Chapter 9)

http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/ftp/forms/DLhandbook.pdf

A quote from the handbook:

HEADLIGHTS

When driving at night slow down. Be sure you can stop within the distance lighted by your headlights.

You should lower (dim) your headlights when you are:

1. Within 500 feet of an approaching vehicle.

2. When following closely (within 300 feet) behind another vehicle.

3. When driving on lighted roads.

4. When driving in fog, heavy rain, sleet, snow, or dust.

If you must park on an unlighted highway at night, leave your parking lights

or lower beam headlights on.

• You must use your headlights beginning one-half hour after sunset and

ending one-half hour before sunrise, or any other time when persons or

vehicles cannot be seen clearly for at least 1,000 feet.

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