I don't know about you, but I get really honked off when I see people driving in the rain, snow, or fog without their headlights on. Every time there's bad weather, it seems there are lots of oblivious drivers. Even though they aren't as visible, I seem to always notice them.
As I was out and about during the snow on Sunday, I got passed by a red Chrysler minivan on River Drive in Davenport...going much too fast for conditions...with headlights off. (Maybe it hit a nerve because of the fact I didn't forecast that much snow.)
Before I go on, I should say that I've forgotten to turn them on before. We all do! And the guy in the minivan was probably overly-concentrating on other things. But c'mon! You had a full load of people in your car! Just as everyone is buckled up and you're paying more attention than you normally do, there was one more step: clicking on the lights.
This morning we have a "Dense Fog Advisory." It's pretty murky out there, but it's bright enough that you really don't need the headlights as a driver. They aren't bright enough to help you see the stoplights or the cars in front of you. But headlights are essential to letting other people see you. Some might say "My car has daytime running lights, where my lights are on all the time." And that is a great thing! However, your tail lights aren't illuminated with daytime running lights. If someone is coming up to you from behind, will they see you if you're driving slowly? Reminds me of my mom's sage advice "Look out for the other guy!" Some newer cars have automatic headlights that go on when it gets dark enough. All fine and dandy for 90% of the weather conditions. Yesterday and today are two of those 10% of days when it's bright enough for headlights to stay off, but you need them to be seen.
So put those headlights in the mental checklist before you pull out of the drive. It will make you and your passengers safer and will keep me safer because I won't have to jump up on a folding chair live on the air.
-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen