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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Powell

Is It Illegal to Drive with Interior Lights on in Missouri? | What the Law Says

There are some "laws" drivers pass around that many people consider to be true when they are false. Most drivers have probably been told that it is illegal to drive with interior lights on while in Missouri and most states in the USA.

Without knowing why turning on an overhead light would be considered an offense, most drivers take it for granted that it must be true. As a result, when they teach their children to drive, they will probably also pass on this little piece of wisdom.

If an accident occurs on Missouri's roadways, victims need to call good automobile accident attorneys, regardless of whether it was caused by driving with the dome light on or not.

The law in Missouri entitles them to receive fair compensation, and Powell Law Firm is here to help them get it.

Is There a Law Against Turning on the Dome Light While Driving?

Is There a Law Against Turning on the Dome Light While Driving?

Is it illegal to drive with interior lights on in Missouri? The quick answer is no. There is no law that specifically prohibits driving with a dome light on regardless of whether it is dark outside or not. This means drivers who do so are not breaking the law in any way, even if other road users may think so.

This is an age-old myth that is widespread in most states because drivers think turning on interior lights while driving at night is unsafe.

While these safety considerations are worth thinking about, it is important to know that in St. Louis and other cities of Missouri, drivers will not be arrested or fined for turning on the dome light inside their cars while driving.

However, many drivers have believed this myth for so long that they still panic and fear being arrested whenever someone in the passenger seat turns on the interior lights to look for something.

As such, even after learning that the law is on their side, if they decide to use their interior lights while driving, many drivers still refrain from doing so.

Why Turning on the Interior Light Could Be Dangerous

Simply because there is no law against doing something does not mean it is a good idea to do it. Driving in the dark while sharing the road with many cars comes with a lot of risks that do not need to be compounded by turning on the interior lights needlessly.

The following are three important reasons why using an interior light inside the car while driving can be dangerous:

Can Be Considered Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is defined as operating a vehicle while not paying full attention to the road ahead.

When carefully considered, it is obvious that the only logical reason for turning on the interior lights while driving is so that the driver can see something inside their vehicle.

This can be anything from rummaging through their bags, looking for something on the floor of the car, or reaching for items on the passenger seats.

Whatever the reason may be, such activities often require the driver to take their eyes off the road ahead. This is distracted driving, and it can easily lead to a car accident.

Affects the Driver's Vision

When driving with the dome light on while there is less light outside the vehicle, it affects the driver's vision. If driving at night or while it is raining, the interior light will often reflect off the windshield or windshield wiper.

As such, drivers should develop a habit of always turning off their interior lights when driving so that their vision remains clear as darkness approaches.

Distracts Other Drivers

Interior lights distract both the driver of the vehicle and other drivers and road users too. When drivers pass a car whose interior lights are on, it is common for them to automatically look inside the other vehicle, which momentarily takes their eyes off the road. This is a form of distracted driving and can easily lead to a serious accident.

What to Do When Overhead Lights Are Needed

There are times when drivers need to look for things inside their car while driving. A good example is when they need to look for money when approaching a toll gate or drive-through restaurant.

The safest thing to do at this point is to pull over, look for whatever is required inside the car, and only drive again when the interior light is turned off.

In many cases, it is not the drivers themselves who turn on the dome lights, but their passengers. This is common when there are children inside the car. In such cases, drivers need to teach all passengers that if they need to look for something in the dark, it is better to alert the driver so that they can pull over and safely switch on the dome light.

What to Do in Case of an Accident

What to Do in Case of an Accident

Despite everyone's best efforts to do the legal thing and try to drive as safely as possible, accidents still happen every day in Missouri. Whether the cause of the accident was a driver using their interior lights while driving or some other reason, victims still need to take the same steps in the aftermath.

To safeguard their well-being and maximize their chances of being fairly compensated for their injuries and financial losses, car accident victims in Missouri need to do the following:

  • Seek medical attention

  • Gather evidence

  • Take pictures of the accident scene

  • Speak to witnesses

  • Hire an experienced personal injury lawyer

Powell Law Firm Can Help

In Missouri, everyone needs to obey the rules of the road when driving alongside other road users. To protect their children, parents often make up fake laws such as the one that states that it is illegal to drive with interior lights on at night. They can also advise on what is the legal limit for window tint in Missouri.

While such false laws may not be legal, they do come from a desire to reduce the number of accidents that claim lives every year.

In the event of being injured in a car accident caused by someone else's negligence, Powell Law Firm can fight for victims to receive justice and fair compensation.


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