Daytime Running Lights; a popular subject. The pro’s and cons of daytime running lights (DRL’s)have been discussed many times. Do a search on Google and over 300000 links turn up. In Canada they have been mandatory since 1989. Many European countries have had legislation in place as far back as 1977. Till today the US of A has no laws in place that make DRL’s mandatory, although all American car manufacturers utilize the module.
In my humble opinion DRL’s were installed to make a motorist more visible during daytime hours. Any off you must have had
the experience once when trying to pass somebody you are starting to pull out and at the same time notice a car coming in
the distance. The car did not have any lights. If it had you would not even have tried to pass. One point for DRL’s.
The truth is, its not about seeing, but being seen! How many times have you driven in bad weather conditions, I am
thinking heavy rain, snow, fog etc, and all of a sudden there is a vehicle popping up out of nowhere. It scares the living
daylights out of you. If this person would have had his lights on, you wouldn’t have had this ‘almost heart attack’,
right? Two points for DRL’s.
Now on the other side of the discussion, the problem with DRL’s is that people forget to turn on their light switch when
it gets dark or when weather conditions deteriorate and as such they are driving without taillights. This is more a
driver education issue then a DRL issue. DRL’s or no DRL’s, people do not turn on their headlights when needed, or
they turn on the parking lights. They figure as long as they can see, turning on lights is not necessary.WRONG. I
quote myself: “its not about seeing, but being seen!”
Some people say the glare of the headlights will make them turn the other way. I find this hard to believe since 90% of
drivers stare straight ahead while driving and do not perform the “left-center-right-center-” look around. In my years of driving I have never had a DLR bother me during daytime driving. Highbeams yes.
It is true that DRL’s make cars who do not have them less visible, when driving behind each other. The opponents of DRL’s
are using this as one of the negative factors and want them banned. Then wouldn’t it make more sense to have ALL cars
outfitted with DRL’s? Offcourse there is still the few people that will disconnect them.
As you see there is lots of arguments for either side. There is even an Association against DRL’s. On their website they
mention something about “ambient lighting” and why it does not make sense for the American continent to have DRL’s. I fail
to see what the amount of ambient lighting (daytime light in a day) has to do with the issue.
To finish I would like to ask this qustion: Why do 99% of police cars do not have their lights on in bad weather conditions?
I for one, having DRL’s and the “automatic on feature when dark” do turn on my headlights every time I get into my car
because I want to be seen.