While there are a lot of components onboard our vehicles that we use every day, there are a few that tend to get ignored. One such component is the reverse light. So if you are wondering what backup lights are actually for, read on.

What is a reverse/backup light?

A vehicle with its backup light on // Credits

Simply put a reverse/backup light is a light that is mounted at the rear end of the vehicle that is connected in such a way that it only illuminates whenever the reverse gear is engaged. No matter what class or budget vehicle you are driving, each vehicle comes with a reverse light onboard.

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Why do you need a reverse/backup light?

Backup Light Close Up

Well, as useless as you might think the backup light is, the component is truly useful. When you engage the reverse gear, the reverse/backup light turns on. This gives a signal to vehicles coming from behind that you are about to reverse your vehicle. Much like hazard lights, the backup light too is meant to be a signal for other vehicles, due to which major accidents/mishaps are usually avoided. Imagine that the vehicle behind you has no idea that you are about to reverse, and it continues to head on towards you. Scary isn’t it?

But that’s not all. Backup light serves another purpose as well. Reversing your vehicle requires a well-lit ambience for you to figure out how much to reverse and at what angle. And in places that are pitch dark, the backup light provides you with ample light to figure out where and how much to reverse. Onboard modern-day vehicles fitted with reversing cameras, the backup light adds an advantage, by lighting up the surroundings, well enough for the camera to provide a great view.

The Bottom Line

Putting Reverse gear while moving forward | Common Car Maintenance Mistakes
Preparing to reverse

From the point of view of overall safety, a backup light is a highly crucial component. Much like your hazard lamps, headlight and turn indicators the backup/reverse light too must always be kept in working condition. This will ensure that you can reverse your vehicle without fearing an accident or low light ambience.

So this was all about the actual use of the backup light. Stay pinned to the GoMechanic blog for everything automotive.

Also Read: 5 Once Popular Cars That Faded Into Oblivion

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