Ask a Trooper: Use your headlights in adverse weather
Question: I have noticed cars that can't be seen in the day when they fail to turn on their lights when it is snowing, raining or foggy. Can you please explain how dangerous it can be and what the law is that covers this?
Answer: Minnesota law says that every vehicle on a roadway shall display lighted headlamps, lighted tail lamps and illuminating devices from sunset to sunrise. The law also applies when it's raining, snowing, sleeting or hailing and at any time when visibility is impaired by weather or insufficient light, at a distance of 500 feet ahead.
The problem is there are limitations to automatic headlights. Sometimes they do not turn on during heavy rain, snow or fog, as the light sensor still detects some light.
A good rule to follow is if your wipers need to be on, then you should also turn on your headlights, tail lights and marker lights.
Send your questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota to firstname.lastname@example.org or Sgt. Neil Dickenson – Minnesota State Patrol at 1131 Mesaba Ave., Duluth, MN 55811.