Submitted photo

Editorial: see the light

Winter driving can be safer for everyone if we simply turn on head and tail lights

Winter came somewhat late to the north this year, and perhaps we all need a refresher about driving for the weather.

But while for most of us it’s intuitive to slow down and drive to conditions, one thing that sometimes gets lost in the mix is turning on head and tail lights during inclement weather.

These days, many newer vehicles have automatic headlight settings, but that doesn’t always mean they turn on in the right conditions – fog, for example, can confuse your car’s sensor, and headlights won’t always come on when they need to.

Those who were forced to drive during snowy weather this past week would have seen multiple vehicles without headlights and/or tail lights lit while out on the roads. And even if it’s not actively snowing, headlights and tail lights are important to activate in any lower light situation, including just on overcast, wintry days.

According to the Ministry of Transportation’s website, it’s a common misconception that tail lights are just like daytime running lights, and are always lit. This is not true on most vehicles, in which tail lights only come on when headlights are turned on.

Also according to the website, many people believe that if their dashboard is lit, so are their tail lights. But many newer vehicles have permanently lit dashboards, so this isn’t a good indication that your red tail lights are on.

Tail lights are an important part of being seen from behind, especially for highway driving in fog, rain and snow. It’s important to leave enough space between your vehicle and the one ahead – but if you can’t see your fellow driver, that can be pretty difficult.

By extension, wiping off your head and tail lights during breaks when you are travelling long distances is essential: most of us here in Northern B.C. have probably experienced what it’s like to be driving with headlights on but still not able to properly see the road due to muck and spray clinging to our headlights and reducing the bulbs’ impact.

Switching on the lights, and keeping them clean, are things that are easy for us to control. A flick of a switch can mean the difference between a collision and getting home safely.

-Black Press

Just Posted

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

RCMP to review actions at Wet’suwet’en pipeline protest camps

Senior Mountie says he hopes protests will be peaceful following deal with hereditary chiefs

‘Tripod’ delays access to Unist’ot’en camp

Social media rumours of cultural significance quashed, meaning police “exclusion zones” should end.

Hereditary chiefs negotiate injunction agreement

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs abide by interim injunction, but gate stays up. Still opposed.

College of New Caledonia wants public’s input on budget

A public consultation will be held Feb. 1 at 4 p.m. at Vanderhoof Campus

First Nation supporters march to Horgan’s MLA office

Dozens marched across the Greater Victoria community of Langford to support the Wet’suwet’en people

Truck hauling compressed gas for ‘virtual pipeline’ crashes on B.C. highway

Driver charged and highway closed for nine hours - containers did not rupture

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson ‘feeling good’ after knee injury

Pettersson said he wasn’t feeling any pain during Wednesday’s skate

Kentucky canoe outfit borrows photo of Trudeau family to market business

They are in a red canoe, all clad in life jackets, and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and Ella-Grace are waving

Ratfish generates social media buzz on Vancouver Island

Boneless, glowing creature a common bycatch, but it usually stays in deep waters – fish expert

UPDATE: Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Most Read