Drive safely this winter: Turn on headlights

Cars drive in the snow without their headlights on. (file)
Cars drive in the snow without their headlights on. (file)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — One common mistake made by people driving in snowy conditions is forgetting to turn on the car’s headlights — even during the day.

Headlights make it much easier for other drivers to see you in any conditions, but are particularly important when visibility is decreased.

“The biggest problem is the automatic headlights,” mechanic Tom Toft said. “When you start your car, your lights may come on in the daylight but then they will immediately turn off. So you need to manually turn your headlights on.”

Toft admitted even he forgets from time to time to turn on his lights — but it’s important.

He showed 24 Hour News 8 the manual override to turn the headlights on. All cars have one. A switch or knob is usually located on the dash to the left of the steering wheel or on the turn signal column. If you can’t find the switch, Toft advised consulting your owner’s manual.

It’s also important to brush the snow off both your headlights and taillights.

In 15 states, it is illegal to drive without the headlights lights on anytime the windshield wipers are activated. That is not the case in Michigan, but is probably a good rule of thumb. Michigan — along with 31 other states — does have a law that mandates headlight use in “limited visibility.”

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