Weather Forecast


Headlights need to be on if it’s raining

Question: With all the rainy days we’ve had lately, I just have to ask; doesn’t Minnesota have a law that requires headlights if you have your wipers are on? How does that relate to automatic daytime running lights? Those don’t seem to activate taillights or trailer lights.

Answer: Minnesota does have a law requiring drivers to have their headlights on.  Windshield wipers being on alone, does not require headlights to be activated, but chances are the reason you are using your wipers is due to the weather which according to Minnesota State Statute would require you to have them on.

M.S.S. 169.48 Subd.1 Lights to be displayed. (a) Every vehicle upon a highway within this state:

  1. at any time from sunset to sunrise;
  2. at any time when it is raining, snowing, sleeting, or hailing; and
  3. at any other time when visibility is impaired by weather, smoke, fog or other conditions or there is not sufficient light to render clearly discernible persons and vehicles on the highway at a distance of 500 feet ahead; shall display lighted headlamps, lighted tail lamps, and illuminating devices.

You bring up a good point of thought. A lot of vehicles are equipped with automatic “daytime” lights that are fine on clear and sunny days. But when it there is rain, snow, sleet, hail, smoke, fog, etc., the sensor may not activate the lights to the rear. 

Every driver is still responsible for turning those on.

Article by Sgt. Jesse Grabow of the Minnesota State Patrol