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Police remind drivers to turn lights on during snowstorms

Police are issuing a simple but important reminder: Turn those headlights on during snow!

WYOMING, Minn. - Living in Minnesota, you'd think it would be second nature.

But Wyoming Police Chief Paul Hoppe estimates about 10 percent of drivers on the road don't turn their headlights or taillights on during snowstorms. 

That's an accident waiting to happen.

"When the visibility is low, your car is difficult to see," Hoppe said. "It's really important we get our drivers to turn their headlights on. So we decided to do something a little creative to get the drivers' attention."

Naturally, they went to social media.

The Wyoming Police Department's tongue-in-cheek tutorial about "anti-collision devices" — also known as lights — has been viewed nearly a half-million times on Facebook since Tuesday. On Twitter, the same video has been retweeted more than 500 times. 

It's a message Hoppe said could save drivers from the three most dangerous types of accidents.

"The fact you turn those headlights on, it can reduce the probability that you will be in any one of those three types of accidents: head-on, side impact or rear-end collision," Hoppe said.

The reminder may seem basic, but Hoppe said he notices a lot of drivers with automatic cars don't understand their own technology. The automatic lights don't always turn on when it's daylight, even if it's snow. Even if they do, the automatic function doesn't always apply to taillights.

"Sometimes, we rely so much on the automatic devices in our cars that we forget — sometimes, it's just the good old manual way of flipping the switch," Hoppe said.