The DOT (Department of Transportation) requires trailer lights to be visible at night and in other low-light conditions. This improves road visibility and protects drivers from collisions or other accidents. Truck driving safety is of the utmost importance, and trailer lights are an essential part of it.
Read more: 10 Truck Driving Safety Tips Every Professional Driver Should Follow.
As mandated by the DOT, trailer light regulations require that trailers have two red brake lights and reflectors (one on each side) at the rear. They must also be illuminated when the brakes are engaged. In addition to these requirements,
We will explain the following trailer light regulations in this article:
1. Visibility Requirements
Trailers, like all other vehicles on the road, must have visible and operable lights from a distance of 500 feet. This includes two red stop lamps in the back, two white license plate lamps, amber side marker lights (two at front and two rear corners), two tail lamps in the rear, reflectors on each corner, a clearance lamp for each side, and two amber turn signals. All lights should be designed and placed, so their visibility is not obstructed by any other trailer component, like a cargo bed.
2. Rear Lights and Reflectors
Rear lights are essential, as they help to identify the width and length of your trailer in dark conditions or during foggy weather. Generally, all trailers must have a red tail light on the rear left side and a red tail light on the rear right side. Both these lights should be visible from at least 500 feet away.
3. Side Marker Lights and Reflectors
Side marker lights are an essential safety feature that must be present on all trailers over 80” in width. These lights must also be amber in color and visible from a distance of 500 feet. Reflectors, which can be either red or white, should also be installed regularly around the side and rear of your trailer to increase visibility. All reflectors should be visible from the side of the trailer from a distance of 50 to 500 feet.
4. Clearance Lights
These lights are mounted at the rear of the trailer and are typically red or amber. The clearance lights must be visible from a distance of 500 feet. They should also be mounted between 12 and 60 inches off the ground.
5. Combination Stop, Tail, and Turn Signal Lamps
The combination stop, tail, and turn signal lamps must be mounted 15 and 72 inches from the ground. These lights must be visible from 500 feet in normal daylight conditions. The amber turn signal lamps should be able to flash at a rate of 60-120 times per minute.
6. Extra Wide Trailers
Two additional stop lamps and two additional turn signal lamps must be mounted on each side for extra wide trailers. The distance between the center of these lamps should be at most three feet apart. These lights must also conform to the height requirements of 15 and 72 inches from the ground.
Safety is of the utmost importance when driving a truck or towing a trailer. Federal regulations are set by the Department of Transportation (DOT) for all vehicles and trailers on US roads, including trailer lights. Ensure you know the importance of keeping up with trailer light regulations for minor or major vehicle repairs. Tire balancing also helps reduce Road Rescue offers mobile truck repairs in Gainesville.