15 Seconds to Safety: Are Your Tail Lights On?

One of the most common mistakes drivers are making these dark, wintry days is failing to activate their tail lights.

If you’re ever trailing one of these phantom cars, either during a cloudy day or even at night, chances are there are one or more misconceptions at play.

Misconceptions:

Tail lights are like daytime running lights: they are always on. Not true. They turn on with the headlights.

A lit up dashboard means all lights are on. Not always true. Some newer vehicles’ dashboards are constantly backlit.

It’s daytime… so, tail lights aren’t needed. In reality, tail lights are an important part of being seen from behind, especially in winter when days are shorter and snow, rain, fog, and all-around dreariness are common 24 hours a day.

A flick of a switch can mean the difference between a collision and getting home safely. Watch this quick video to make sure you know your lights.

And while you’re at it, check out the other videos in the 15 Seconds to Safety Shift Into Winter series:

> How to Pack Your Vehicle Emergency Kit in 15 Seconds

> How to Measure Tread Depth in 15 Seconds

Are your tail lights on?

Page 1 of 17 comments on “15 Seconds to Safety: Are Your Tail Lights On?”

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  1. Some new cars come with an extra detent on the headlight switch: “Automatic”. Use that and your taillights will be on when they need to be.

    Reply
  2. I almost hit a very, very expensive car a few years ago on the Coquihallaa in fog and heavy snow – a silver car – they did not have tail lights on and all of a sudden there they were. I missed then by inches.

    I wish car manufacturers would install the same electronics that activate daytime running lights to not only include taillights but side marker lights.

    You see cars all the time, they feel if they can see to drive, others can see them! Not so. Rain, fog, dusk and other low light occurrences.

    Reply
  3. In reality, tail lights are an important part of being seen from behind, especially in winter when days are shorter and snow, rain, fog, and all-around dreariness are common 24 hours a day. Where such information?

    Reply
  4. Ministry of Transportation:
    Would it not be a great idea to join the rest of the world to ALWAYS have tail lights on. Would save life and improve transportation.

    Reply