Daytime Running Lights: The Arguments
This page lists the basic arguments for and against the government
mandating Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and DRL in general. Anything
in [ ] and italics are rebuttals from the other side. Please
fell free to send me additions or rebuttals for this page by using
or by emailing me. I can be reached to firstname.lastname@example.org
Also be sure to check out Daytime Running Lights: The Studies.
Due to a lack of time I have been unable to go incorporate everones
viewpoints on the issue. So for now I have decided simpily to post
I will latter add a page for proposals in place of a DRL mandate.
- They make it easier to see cars in low light siturations,
espacally oncomming vehicles.
[That's a matter of opinion... When they're
oncoming, they don't make me (the motorist) notice them any sooner
than a car whose headlamps are dark]
- It is easier to spot cars in glare, shade, dusk, etc. with
- Being "lights" they are easier to see than, say
a dark colored car.
- They grab your attention faster than a car without DRL's,
and thus you have a few split seconds more to react, adjust, etc.
Split seconds make the difference in dangerous situations.
- People don't have to remember to turn on their headlights
every time it gets dark.
[What about the tail lights,
marker lights and instrument lights? If drivers
can't be trusted to turn on their headlights when it gets dark,
then why trust in them to turn on the rest?
- No danger of people trying to save their bulbs by
driving with just their parking lights on at dusk.
- They are annoying. When DRL-equipped cars are behind
a motorist on the highway, they turn the rear-view mirror into
a constant distraction. When a car is behind a motorist on an
uneven or hilly they go from annoying to extremely annoying and
distracting. During the night time there is a day/night setting
on the rear view mirror that can't be used during the day. [More ...]
- They can go beyond annoying to dangerous. For example:
they are annoying on cars coming towards a motorist in the other
lane because it tends to cause people to look away from them.
This is obviously not a safe situation.
- Rear center brake lights didn't help much, daytime
driving lights won't either. The gov't and the IIHS predicted
a 50% drop in rear-end accidents with the center brake lights.
5+ years after they mandated them, the real drop was more like
5%. So, anytime someone says DRLs will work when everyone has
them, remember that figure. If all cars have lights on during
the day your car will no longer be different. It won't stand out.
You lose the advantage.
- They are sometimes blinding depending on the height of
the car and when they are implemented as reduced brightness high-beams.
- Some drivers forget to turn on there low beams at night.
They run the risk of being rear-ended because the majority of
DRL systems do not illuminate other lights besides the headlights.
- People will think DRLs are adequate protect in Bad Weather
like Fog etc..
- Hard to see the Turn Signals due to DRLs.
- You can see the headlights better when they are on, but
you can't see the car better. There are several tricks that
can be done with tools as simple as a flashlight to show you can't
see as well.
- When having headlights on is a good idea, one can simply
turn on there headlights.
- Unnecessary, cars can be seen during the day.
- Useful In Canada due to long periods of
darkness and twilight and clouds but not in the US.
- Running lights are a way for auto manufacturers and auto
light manufacturers to hit the public for more money.
- Drunk drivers will no longer be characterized by cars
traveling in the dark.
[They are still rather easy to
spot. Like the guy doing 30 in the 55 zone
at 2am is a good bet for DWI.]
- If you do all your driving in bright, sunny conditions,
the only effect on you will be having to change your headlights
A service of the Reasonable Drivers Unanimous
home page (http://www.clark.net/pub/kevina/sl/).