Turning on Headlights, Taillights Can Help Prevent Pile Ups

Local News

The exact cause of Sunday’s pile up on I-41 is still being investigated.

As we anticipate another round of snow Tuesday night and this weekend, Local 5 is reminding drivers to turn their headlights and taillights on during white out conditions.

While it’s safe to assume low visiblity caused the 131 car pile up, it’s also safe to say there are ways to prevent pile ups from happening.

“Even having a headlight or taillight in front of you at some point, even if it’s just a few hundred yards, that’s going to help in being able to break,” says Storm Team 5 meteorologist Dave Miller.

That means you have to turn those lights on.

Newer cars often have automatic lights, but that’s not enough for white out conditions.

“With your lights on it increases the visibility of your vehicle so other cars can see you easier,” says auto technician Jaramey Plager. “And a lot of times cars with automatic lights won’t turn on during the day even if there is snow or it’s foggy. The light from outside will keep the car from turning the lights on.”

If you’re not sure which setting you should have your lights on dependent on the weather conditions, it’s always the one that enables your head and taillights to be on at the same time.

“There’s automatic, off, parking or completely on,” says Plager. “You want to turn the switch all the way to the right so that the lights are completely on when you’re driving and that way your headlights will keep you visible.”

All in all if you don’t have to drive during severe weather: don’t.

“People need to pay attention to what’s going on at the time before they head out the door and understand that travel is going to be really poor to begin with,” says Miller. “And you need to be more aware than you generally are in most cases and just go slow.”

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