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Astraist
Master Driver



Joined: Mar 27, 2010
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:40 pm Reply with quote Back to top

With the winter almost over, I took time to an important subject which is the use of headlights (low beam or DRL) during the daytime in times of good visibility. Does it help? Does it hurt?

Does it help?
According to almost all researches, and there are quite a few - YES! Conspiciousness is not a binary term. You can always see better than you already do, even if you see fine.

While the concept ot daytime running lights was invented in Northern European countries like Denmark and Norway, but more recent researches were held in countries like Florida, California, Australia, Hungary and other countries that have a much more fair weather. In my country, in spite of a nice weather, turning on the low beams is required by law when driving out of town during winter time, and in summer time too for rigs, and for bikes - in towns too.

The result show that head-on collisions are reduced, as are lateral impacts in junctions, especially when one car turns left through oncoming traffic. Collisions with pedestrians and cyclists reduce, too. The rate of reduction varies depending on the weather from 2-3% to 15-20%.

Even in nice weather, there are many visibility issues like shades, dust, scenery that camounflagues the car, steam rising from the hot road surface, glare, reflections from car glasses and metalic bodyparts and many other reasons to keep your headlights on!

Does it hurt?
This is a good technical question and it depends on the milleage and type of the electric system in use inside the vehicle. The headlights will increase gas consumption and reduce the lifespawn of the bulbs, but both effects will be relativelly neglegible, especially with newer headlamps (like Xenon or LED's).

Modern cars also have special Daytime running lights (DRL) kits that are even more efficient. The electrical system itself or the battery will not be effectivelly worn by this habit.

The overall costs can be as little as 3$ (annually), to about 30$ at most. A small and worthy pay for increased road safety![/b]
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Misha
Site Owner



Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 705
Location: McLean, VA, USA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:04 am Reply with quote Back to top

One of the rare cases when I totally agree to you. Smile

Since I am almost always faster than an average driver, I want to be seen at all times. The moment after I start my engine, I turn on the low beam, always.

And I certainly had a few close calls because people where driving without lights, even in sunny days with great overall visibility. Narrow roads with trees giving lots of shade can mask an approaching dark colored car quite well...
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charn
Member
Member



Joined: Apr 03, 2011
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 10:49 am Reply with quote Back to top

I did not think about DRL until I drove in fog and saw too many unlit cars, besides the unlit cars I could not see. Automatically on lights seemed like a good idea then, until I learned the taillights would still be off, which adds a whole new level of danger. Then I did more research and saw complaints about glare obscuring turn signals. They are also a power drain, so that is more fuel burned.

If the DRL system is modified to include taillights, and kept away from the turn lights, then it's probably worth the cost in areas with wet weather.
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Astraist
Master Driver



Joined: Mar 27, 2010
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 11:20 am Reply with quote Back to top

If there is fog, than you ought to turn the headlights on anyway. What I am talking about is using the headlights (or DRL) in broad daylight! It might not sound right, but it helps, no matter how clear you can see.

So long as you don't use the highbeams (or some DRL light-sets in northern America which are even more luminous), than there is no glare involved. Dazzling the human eye happens at a lumins level which is about eight to nine times stronger than that of your low beam lights.

The power drain is also very little, as I've stated. Your power steering or air conditioning take up at least as much energy and fuel.
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wdauk1234
New member



Joined: May 17, 2012
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 5:19 am Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks. I didn't know about these DRLs.. Didn't even know something like that existed.. I'll definitely make an investment to earn more road safety.. Smile

Astraist wrote:
With the winter almost over, I took time to an important subject which is the use of headlights (low beam or DRL) during the daytime in times of good visibility. Does it help? Does it hurt?

Does it help?
According to almost all researches, and there are quite a few - YES! Conspiciousness is not a binary term. You can always see better than you already do, even if you see fine.

While the concept ot daytime running lights was invented in Northern European countries like Denmark and Norway, but more recent researches were held in countries like Florida, California, Australia, Hungary and other countries that have a much more fair weather. In my country, in spite of a nice weather, turning on the low beams is required by law when driving out of town during winter time, and in summer time too for rigs, and for bikes - in towns too.

The result show that head-on collisions are reduced, as are lateral impacts in junctions, especially when one car turns left through oncoming traffic. Collisions with pedestrians and cyclists reduce, too. The rate of reduction varies depending on the weather from 2-3% to 15-20%.

Even in nice weather, there are many visibility issues like shades, dust, scenery that camounflagues the car, steam rising from the hot road surface, glare, reflections from car glasses and metalic bodyparts and many other reasons to keep your headlights on!

Does it hurt?
This is a good technical question and it depends on the milleage and type of the electric system in use inside the vehicle. The headlights will increase gas consumption and reduce the lifespawn of the bulbs, but both effects will be relativelly neglegible, especially with newer headlamps (like Xenon or LED's).

Modern cars also have special Daytime running lights (DRL) kits that are even more efficient. The electrical system itself or the battery will not be effectivelly worn by this habit.

The overall costs can be as little as 3$ (annually), to about 30$ at most. A small and worthy pay for increased road safety![/b]
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