You're a good person and a good citizen if you see one of the many deer that appear near Missouri roadways and try to warn others, but is it legal to use your headlights as a means of communication? The answer is more complicated than you might think.

I am not a lawyer and no person in their right mind would come ask me a real important legal question. I share things I find interesting and do my best to find reliable information about topics like this.

I saw a story shared out of Joplin, Missouri by a New York state TV station about whether headlight flashing is legal or not. The fundamental question is whether you are allowed to flash your headlights at other Missouri drivers.

Let's be honest. In the past, when you see someone in Missouri flash headlights, it means law enforcement is ahead likely with a speed trap. There was a legal case where the police contested the flashing of headlights interfered with police business. From what I can find, the courts found that the police cannot stop you from communicating with other drivers by flashing headlights, but there are some caveats.

Here's what you're not allowed to do in Missouri based on my research (not a legal opinion). You cannot flash your lights at another driver in a way that could potentially blind them or cause them to drive dangerously. You are also not supposed to flash bright lights to alert another driver that they have bright lights on.

However, back to the original question, it appears to be legal to briefly flash your headlights in a non-invasive way to alert drivers that you've encountered deer and they might also. Just be careful where and how you do it...if at all.

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