In most states, headlight use at night and in poor weather conditions is required by law. Recent research shows that daytime headlight use may be just as beneficial in improving visibility and preventing accidents. Daytime running lights (DRLs) are lower-wattage lights that go on as soon as a car’s ignition starts. They remain on as long as the car is running. DRLs make cars more visible to pedestrians, motorcyclists, and other drivers. When cars are easier to see, it prevents accidents.
The Benefits of Permanent Headlight Use
DRLs were introduced to the auto market in the 1970’s and have become increasingly more popular ever since. Research shows that daytime headlights can potentially reduce car accidents by up to 10 percent. The largest decreases were seen in head-on and front-corner crashes where visibility is most crucial. Looking at other types of accidents, daytime headlights reduced crashes involving bicyclists and pedestrians by 12 percent and motorcycles by 23 percent.
Several countries currently mandate permanent headlight use with good results. Countries with less daylight, especially in the winter months, have been quicker to adopt DRLs. In Canada, auto accidents involving multiple cars decreased by more than 11 percent with daytime headlight use. In Denmark, left-turn accidents decreased by 37 percent after permanent headlight laws were introduced.
Even with the data on the benefits of permanent headlights, only around one-quarter of new vehicles in the United States come equipped with DRLs as a standard feature. It will take years to phase out all older model vehicles not equipped with permanent headlights. Until that happens, some U.S. lawmakers are considering mandating the use of permanent use of headlights for all drivers.
Concerns About Use
The brightness of daytime running lights is one of the primary concerns surrounding permanent headlight use. DRL brightness is regulated differently in every country. In countries where DRLs are permitted to be as bright as nighttime headlights, they can potentially blind other drivers. Also, in taller vehicles, DRLs are often located higher up and can shine directly into the eyes of oncoming drivers.
Some drivers who are hesitant to use their headlights during the day are concerned about fuel efficiency and the cost of replacing them more often. The good news is that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that permanent headlight use only costs drivers between $3 and $40 per year. That is a small price to pay to possibly prevent an accident and save precious lives.
Delaware County Car Accident Lawyers McCann & Wall, LLC Hold Reckless Drivers Accountable
Traffic laws protect drivers and pedestrians. When reckless drivers disregard the law, causing serious injuries, they should be held accountable. Delaware County car accident lawyers at the law firm McCann & Wall, LLC hold careless drivers liable for the accidents they cause. Injured victims deserve compensation for their medical bills and pain and suffering. Schedule a free initial consultation with a Delaware County car accident lawyer by calling 215-515-2236 or contact us online. McCann & Wall has locations throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey to serve you.