Is It Illegal to Drive with Brake Lights Stuck on?

Brake lights are on your vehicle's rear and turn on when you push the brake pedals. It is there to signal other drivers that you are braking your car, so they don't collide. As you can understand, brake lights are one crucial part of your vehicle lighting system.

To drive with stuck-on brake lights is highly unsafe. It may end in disasters, especially when you need to brake. So, is it legal to drive with this light on or not? Let's discuss that topic along with some other interesting details in my today's article.

Is It Illegal to Drive with Brake Lights Stuck on

The Legality of Driving with Stuck-on Brake Lights

All states have prohibited people from driving with stuck-on brake lights. As you can understand, since a faulty brake light poses serious threats to the driver and others on the road, it should not be taken lightly. You can get pulled over, ticketed, and fined for this offense.

Typically, you can avoid these issues if you inspect your vehicle every once in a while with a professional mechanic. It is so necessary since it can potentially save your life.

In fact, if your brake lights stay on or won't come on in the middle of a road, you may need to pull over with your hazard lights on. Then you should call a tow truck to take it to a mechanic for immediate repair. Or just carry it to your garage and repair it yourself when you can but don't drive with faulty brake lights.

Reasons Why Your Brake Lights Stay on

There can be one of many reasons why the brake lights on your car stay on. If you are familiar with them, it may be easier to troubleshoot the issue yourself. So, let's look at some of them-

A Malfunctioned Switch and Sensor

The brake switch is close to the brake pedal. This switch and the sensors work as the trigger for the brake lights. When you press the pedal, you indirectly press the button. Any issue in it or the sensors may cause the brake light to stay on.

For example, the switch can jam and stay pressed even when you release the pedal. In addition, the sensor may not take up the signal properly.

Faulty Spring or Pedal

There is a spring beneath the brake pedal that pushes it back when you release the brake. If this spring is corroded or worn out, the pedal may stay down, causing the light to stay on. In the worst-case scenario, it may be the pedal system itself that is faulty and stuck. In that case, it will be harder to troubleshoot the issue.

Wrong Bulb

If you have installed a bulb with the incorrect size or type into the brake lights, it can cause a short circuit. It may result in the light staying illuminated.

Worn-out or Damaged Wiring

Pray that the root of the issue isn't a faulty wiring system. It is so because you may have to spend so much time and money repairing it. The signals travel from the brake pedals to the lights via these wires. So, if any damage happens to them, the signal can cut off, enabling the brake lights to detect when you release the pedal.

How to Fix Brake Light Stuck on?

You can try some actions to repair the faulty brake light system. If nothing works, calling a professional is the ideal option. Anyway, go for the following steps-

  • Check the brake pedal switch. If it is not working correctly, replace it.
  • Check the brake pedal stopper to see whether it has come loose or fallen. You can simply put it back. But if it has broken down, replace it.
  • Check for dirt or corrosion. If you find any, clean it appropriately.
  • Check if the brake pedal spring is working correctly. Otherwise, unhook and replace it. You can do it with a needle nose plier or any thin metal wire.
  • Check the electrical system according to the vehicle manual. It is not a process that I can describe here in detail, nor do I suggest doing it without proper knowledge and experience. In fact, it is best to leave this step for a mechanic.

How Much Will It Cost to Repair a Faulty Brake Light System?

The cost of repairing a faulty brake light system depends. But it can range from $25 to $100 if you manage to DIY and $25 to $300 if you hire a mechanic.

Final Note

It is illegal to drive with the brake lights on. However, it is understandable since when the brake lights are on, others on the road won't be able to guess when you are genuinely braking. So, they may mistakenly crash on your car. Hence, it is best to repair a faulty braking system quickly.

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