Arrive Alive

Driving with Lights on at Daytime

Lights on Campaign

At the launch of the several Road Safety Campaigns, the Department of Transport has urged motorists to drive with their headlamps on during the day. Motorists were urged to keep the headlamps of vehicles on the dipped beam and demonstrate their commitment and support of the Arrive Alive's ‘Lights on the campaign.’

It is important to understand the merits behind this request. Several international studies have proven that the correct implementation of such a strategy could indeed assist in reducing deaths on the roads.

International Research

Even though circumstances and environmental conditions might differ the following international studies have provided noteworthy findings in countries where daytime running lights are used in vehicles:

  • In Denmark in 1990 two studies evaluated the daytime running lights law, one that assessed short-term effects, the other looking at longer-term effects. Results of these two studies were quite consistent. There was a small reduction in daytime multiple-vehicle crashes (7 per cent) in the first year and 3 months the law was in effect, with one type of daytime running lights relevant crash (left turn in front of the oncoming vehicle) reduced by 37 per cent. In the second study, which covered 2 years and 9 months of the law, there was a 6-per cent reduction in daytime multiple-vehicle crashes, and a 34-per cent reduction in left-turn crashes. There was a small reduction in motor vehicle-cyclist collisions (4 per cent) but a statistically significant increase (16 per cent) in motor vehicle-pedestrian collisions.

  • In a study in Canada comparing 1990 model year vehicles (required to have daytime running lights ) with 1989 vehicles, a statistically significant 11-per cent reduction in daytime multiple-vehicle crashes other than rear-end impacts was estimated. This estimate was adjusted to take into account the fact that about 29 per cent of 1989 vehicles were fitted with daytime running lights.

  • In 1994 Avis, Inc. announced the results of a traveller-safety study analyzing the incidence and degree of damage to cars equipped with daytime running lights; the study showed a significantly greater degree of damage to those without daytime running lights. Those equipped with daytime running lights have their headlights on at all times and are more visible to other drivers. During the day, they are on at an 80% power level; in the dark, they operate at 100%.

Arguments in favour of the “Lights on” Campaign

  •  It is easier to see cars in low light situations – especially oncoming vehicles

  • It is easier to spot cars in the glare, shade, dusk, etc. when the vehicles drive with their lights on

  • Your attention is grabbed a bit faster and it gives a few splits seconds more to react, adjust etc – split seconds that could make a difference in dangerous situations

South African Conditions

  •  In South Africa, approximately 40% of fatalities are pedestrian deaths

  • Many informal settlements in South Africa are situated next to highways –thereby increasing the risk of further pedestrian fatalities.

  • Children attending schools in rural communities walk several kilometres next to the roads to and from their schools

Various studies have shown that “driving with lights on” can improve the noticeability and detectability of vehicles in the central and peripheral fields of view. Commitment to the “Lights on Campaign” could not only enhance visibility but also remind all motorists at all times of the dangers to road safety, and the measures that we need to take to avoid these dangers.

Loading...

Search Road Safety Articles

Latest Pages

Road Safety near Construction Zones / Roadworks

Road Safety near Construction Zones / Roadworks

Introduction and Overview Increased infrastructure spending and funding for road construction have led to a significant increase in the number of highway construction projects around South Africa. The safety of road users and workers is a concern on roads and highways worldwide. Thousands of people

Read More

Safety of workers and flagmen in areas of road construction

Safety of workers and flagmen in areas of road construction

Workers in areas of road construction are worthy of protection. On the Arrive Alive website, we find information on safe driving in areas of construction activity. The most important safety precaution for drivers is to obey the Rules of the Road, road signage and the directions from flagmen. This

Read More

Vehicle Checklist, Roadworthiness and Safe Driving

Vehicle Checklist, Roadworthiness and Safe Driving

Before every drive, we need to perform a few safety checks in and around the vehicle. When we go for a long drive such as for the holidays this is even more important and the list to check becomes a bit more comprehensive! Our vehicle safety check needs to identify potential hazards and prevent additional

Read More

Vehicle Maintenance and Repair

Vehicle Maintenance and Repair

Background info Road Safety requires not only driver fitness but vehicle fitness. A well-maintained vehicle not only speaks volumes about the owner but will protect the owner on the road. Many accidents caused by vehicle failure can be prevented and many stranded motorists face the preventable

Read More

Vehicle maintenance and safety guide to roadworthiness of vehicles

Vehicle maintenance and safety guide to roadworthiness of vehicles

Vehicle roadworthiness is one of the important requirements for the safety of all our road users. On the Arrive Alive website, we refer to contributing factors to vehicle crashes concerning three categories - driver fitness, vehicle fitness and environmental factors. With the assistance of our road

Read More

Vehicle Modifications, Alterations and Road Safety

Vehicle Modifications, Alterations and Road Safety

Manufacturers deliver vehicles which cater for the average driver and have settings that will provide the best (erring on the conservative) in terms of longevity, economy, ride comfort, performance. That satisfies most drivers but some, quite possibly because they can’t find/afford a “performance”

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All