Light Your Way

Many state laws require that lights on the back of trailers and boats must be operable while towing.

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When you're driving at night, it's a given that you need to have all your lights in working order. A busted headlight or a brake light can put other drivers or pedestrians at risk, and if the police take notice, they can pull you over and write you a ticket.

Not only is it doubly important to have working lights when you're towing; you also need to double your lights. Laws in many states require that a towed vehicle, whether it's a car trailer, a boat trailer or a camper, must have operable lights, including brake lights, tail lights and turn signals. All of these lights also need to synch up with the vehicle you're driving, so that the moment you step on the brakes, both sets of brake lights illuminate at exactly the same moment.

Your brake lights won't do you much good if your tires aren't roadworthy -- read about proper tire maintenance on the next page.