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Avoiding Car Accidents Through Proper Use of Headlights

Anthony M. Rubin - SiebenCarey "Know Your Rights" AttorneyMay 16, 2016

Headlights Are Required in the Rain!

We all know that April showers are supposed to bring May flowers, but this year it seems as if we just keep having more rain. So, how about a little information about highway safety and avoiding car accidents through proper use of our headlights.

Did you know that in Minnesota, you can get a ticket for not having your headlights on any time that it is raining, snowing, sleeting, or hailing? This might seem obvious, and it does make a lot of sense toward preventing unnecessary automobile collisions, but let me tell you how this might come up in a way you are not expecting. I know, because it happened to me.

I was driving during a light drizzle, the cloudy sky was relatively bright, and I had my headlamps set to “auto." In my mind, I had done everything necessary to be a safe driver and avoid an unnecessary car accident. Then a friendly State Trooper informed me otherwise. Minnesota Statutes section 169.48 states that headlights, taillights, and other illuminating devices must be on any time from sunset to sunrise, and, when it is raining, snowing, sleeting, or hailing, as well as any other time visibility is impaired.  As the Trooper informed me as he came to my window and looked at my headlight selector, "Yup, auto doesn't work when it's light out."

Well, shoot. It does make sense, though. A good way to think about it for daytime driving, according to my Trooper, is to turn on the headlights anytime you turn on the wipers. A helpful tip, and if you're smart, and learn it, and practice it, you won’t get stuck with a $118 ticket to have the lesson be taught to you!

Be safe out there, folks. Wear your seat belts, keep your headlights on when you are supposed to, follow the speed limit, and if something bad happens, call your friends at the Know Your Rights firm. We are all in this together.

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