Checking the lights on the outside of your vehicle is self-explanatory. At night, walk around the car to make sure all of the lights are working. Check the blinkers in the front and back.
To check the backup lights, have someone stand behind the car. Shift into reverse but keep your foot on the brake. The backup lights are white and should come on only when the vehicle is in reverse.
In most states it’s illegal to operate a vehicle with defective equipment. Burned out lights are usually classified as defective equipment. If you know your headlight is burned out but decide to run to the grocery store anyway, don’t blame the officer who gives you a ticket.