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Side Lamp

Signal lights. Also known as turn signals or “blinkers” these are located in the front and back of the car, beside the head and tail lights. When activated, they indicate to other drivers that you’ll soon be turning (in the indicated direction of the signal) and will most likely be slowing down to do so.

Indicators

Indicators take up the same position as your hazard warning lights, visible on all corners of your car.

The blinking amber lights are turned on and off down one side of your car using your indicator stalk. They also automatically turn off once you straighten your wheels after making a turn.

When to use indicators

If you've passed your test you definitely shouldn't need to ask this!

You should use indicators to show other road users and pedestrians where you intend to turn. This includes roundabouts, pulling away, overtaking and changing lanes.

Make sure you don’t leave it too late, or turn them on too early, as others might think you’re taking an earlier turn.

Sidelights/parking lights

Car sidelights, or parking lights as they are sometimes known, are usually found in the headlamp unit in the front corners of your car.

Sidelights aren’t as bright as headlights, so are used by drivers to make themselves visible to traffic during times when it’s not dark enough for main lights.

The switch to turn them on is usually found on a dashboard dial or twisted indicator stalk.

When to use sidelights/parking lights

The Highway Code says that all vehicles must display parking lights or sidelights when parked on a road (or lay-by) with a speed limit over 30mph. They are designed to be left on for long periods of time when you leave your car and shouldn’t drain your battery.

If the road has a speed limit of 30mph or less, you don’t need to use your sidelights, as long as:

your spot is a recognised parking bay or lay-by, or you’re facing in the direction of the traffic flow, close to the kerb, and at least 10 metres from the nearest junction

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