The Drive: Use your headlights to see – and to be seen

  • Article by: Tim Harlow , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 29, 2013 - 5:29 PM

With our unrelenting bitter cold and snow, safety-conscious organizations such as AAA are constantly reminding us about the importance of keeping our vehicles in working order. Their helpful tips include everything from checking battery power to properly inflating tires to making sure coolants are at the correct levels.

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bosshogDec. 29, 13 5:34 PM

Why doesn't Minnesota use full cut-off street lights if they are worried about visibility at night? Having a street light shine into your eyes is nearly as dangerous as having an oncoming car leave its brights on.

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suefranpatDec. 29, 13 5:58 PM

And don't just rely on your daytime running lights. It's just as important that I see you from behind as oncoming. Ok, that was awkward but you know what I mean.

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mnpls123Dec. 29, 13 6:48 PM

But turn off your stupid fog lights. Both front and rear. In the city we have enough lights that they don't help and on the highway you're traveling too fast for them to be of any use. Should be illegal.

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vesta44Dec. 29, 13 7:06 PM

Headlights are fine, as long as they aren't on high beams in oncoming traffic and don't have foglights on too. I don't know how many times I've been blinded and almost run off the road because some truck has 6 bright white lights shining in my eyes at night. Sure, HE can see, but no one driving in the opposite direction can see. Doesn't help much, when one of two drivers is blinded by the light.

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swmnguyDec. 29, 13 7:19 PM

It's important to have the lights aimed correctly, also. I've been blinded too many times by oncoming halogens lamps focused too high, and by traffic behind blazing halogens into my rear-view mirrors.

Some cars, like mine, turn the headlights on automatically when the car is running. Unfortunately, they don't turn on the tail lights, so it's possible to drive around in the dark with just the headlights on. Please blink your lights at drivers who may be unaware their tail lights aren't on. It will prompt them to look at their dashboard and they will see the wrong lamp icon is lit and correct it. It can be easy in the city to not realize you don't have your lights on properly if you're in a hurry and in an area where there are lots of streetlights.

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mandansmomDec. 29, 13 7:31 PM

The rule of thumb is, wipers on, lights on. Why don't car makers hard wire this? I see too many gray or white cars on the roads in snowstorms without lights.

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verdepatoDec. 29, 13 7:31 PM

Headlights on will do more to stop accidents and injuries then seat belts and air bags Turn them on during the day time

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mandansmomDec. 29, 13 7:32 PM

I've been blinking my lights for years. Never once saw the other driver turn on their lights, even at night.

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bigtmnDec. 29, 13 7:58 PM

And brush the snow off your car! I hate following another car that has snow blowing off and obscuring my visibility, not to mention the big chunks from some of them. You can be ticketed for it but I suspect that seldom happens.

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tcatheartDec. 29, 13 9:13 PM

One of my personal pet peeves…Don't DRIVE with your PARKING lights on. Those orange lights that are half way between "off" and "on" are for PARKING ONLY…as in a motionless vehicle. Do NOT drive with them on. Turn your lights all the way on.

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