Our headlights are essential for driving in the dark – but they can only help you see and be seen if they’re working correctly. Although people often complain that their headlights are too low and make it hard to see at night, the reasoning behind this is often just that the light output is weak or the bulbs aren’t bright enough.

To give yourself the best possible chance of functioning headlights that keep you safe in the dark, it’s best to start with the easiest fix – your lenses.

A visual check of your headlight lenses can reveal to you whether they are clean and clear. Glass lenses are usually easy, but plastic lights can become cloudy or tinted yellow after some time. In this case, step one should be giving them a clean with a light polish which you can buy at any motor store, but if that doesn’t work, the lens may need a replacement.

If your headlights aren’t bright enough for you to see at night, an upgrade might be in order. It’s important to be wary when replacing headlights however. When changing headlights, you should pick standard bulbs that increase light and brighter colour without increasing the wattage. When you upgrade the bulbs to give an increased output, you risk melting and potentially catching the headlight lens, bulb holder and wiring alight.

Even if you think your lights are perfectly functional, it’s always a good idea to occasionally have a dig around the front of your car and check that both of your headlights are working before driving at night. If you think your lights aren’t working quite like they used to, it’s safer to get them checked out before you become a hazard on the road.