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Black and white semi-truck body with brand new headlights in Decatur, IL

Requirements for Your Truck Head & Taillights

Headlights and taillights are essential to keeping you and other drivers on the road safe when delivering heavy cargo in your semi-truck at night. Semi-truck crashes are serious in themselves during the day but become even more likely to happen after dark due to improper maintenance to head or taillights. Thankfully, there are specific regulations in the state of Illinois that help prevent accidents caused by improper lighting including requirements on the placement, attachment, and functionality of truck lights. Here are 4 major requirements for semi-truck headlights and taillights to help you drive safely and legally on the road at night!

Type of Lights

The type of lights you have on your truck or semi make a difference in what requirements you need to be considered safe while driving at night. Every type of light designed for a large vehicle has a specific federal or state regulation that must be obeyed by every driver. If your specific headlights or taillights are not powerful enough or are too bright to where they may impair other drivers on the road, you could be pulled over and ticketed by a state police officer.

Blue and white semi-truck on a highway with trees and shining headlights in Decatur, ILInstallation & Positioning

This requirement is often overlooked by truck or semi-drivers but is still essential to fulfilling the requirements of your state while on the road. According to FMVSS 108, the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108, any reflex reflector, lamp, or treatment device is required to be permanently attached to a specific location on any truck or semi. If you have a device that is on the front, back or sides of your truck, you must make sure that they are placed perpendicular and parallel to the truck’s centerline unless a separate requirement is certified. You are not allowed to have an auxiliary device that prevents any other device from fulfilling its duties. If you are unsure whether your truck meets the specific requirements of your state, visit the NHTSA official website.


This may seem like an obvious requirement, but some drivers still fail to repair or replace issues with their headlights and taillights before driving. All trucks and semis on the road much have always functioning lights. This includes your front and backlights, as well as your brake lights, hazard lights, and turn signals to keep you and those driving next to you on the road safe. If you need one of your truck lights replaced, call (217) 877-4794 to contact Bob & Ron’s Repair Services Inc. today!

Black and yellow company work truck with red and grey taillights in Decatur, ILDifference in Taillights

Depending on the type of truck you are driving, there are certain requirements you must maintain with your taillights. Before hitting the road make sure to check and see if your lights have a clear or red lens that is not broken or cloudy from years of use, and that each red or clear lens has the appropriate colored bulb. You have the option of including modern LED or incandescent lights that are the standard brightness for all truck and semi drivers. Once you have fulfilled the requirements for your taillights, you can ensure a safe drive for you and other drivers on the road.

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