By Jamie Rieger
Winter is once again upon us, and with it comes snow-shoveling, bundling up in layers, and winter driving.
Driving home along Highway Three on Saturday, it was not the ice on the road that was the problem. The actual surface of the pavement was fin, in fact. The problem was with the visibility due to the blowing snow, especially when the vehicle in front of me was kicking up a good deal of it himself.
Now, that vehicle in front of me just so happened to be white in colour and he did not have his tail lights turned on, so I really didn’t get a good look at him except for his side mirrors and rear window until I was close behind him.
Now driving around in the city with just your daytime running lights on may suffice, but out in the open where the wind blows stronger, motorists really need to ensure they actually turn on their lights when hitting the highway.
I have no idea why the tail lights do not come on with running lights, but that is the way it is with most North American vehicles. (Europe, on the other hand, has rear running lights on theirs and has for a few years now.) I also am not sure whether drivers don’t think about turning on their lights when visibility is poor or just don’t care about the driver in behind them.
Rear-end collisions are on the rise, according to a November, 2015 study by Allstate Canada. Could at least some of them have been caused because the front driver did not employ his lights and was only utilizing the running lights in a poor visibility situation?
According to the study, vehicles being rear-ended account for 25.17 percent of all collisions. And, interestingly, the driver in the rear is usually the one to be found at fault.
People need to be more cognizant about turning on their lights when visibility is poor, even if it is during daytime hours and the auto manufacturers really need to get up to speed with what has already been done in Europe and start manufacturing vehicles with tail lights that come on with the daytime running lights.