DRL's - good or bad?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MickO, Jan 29, 2002.

  1. MickO

    MickO Extra

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    I was thinking about opening up a can of worms. DRL's - or Daytime Running Lights. What do YOU think of them? Do you think it should be mandatory? If so, why? No? Why not? I've seen reports of people claiming to be annoyed and distracted by them during the day. I've heard that an unnamed association has banned Saturn for having automatic DRL's on their vehicles.

    What do YOU think?
     
  2. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    I have them turned off on my BMW. Personally, I don't think they make the roads any safer and I think they look really silly. It's kind of like teenagers who drive with their fog lights on all of the time because they think it looks cool.
     
  3. Jared_B

    Jared_B Supporting Actor

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    I hate 'em.

    They are annoying, look bad, and don't really help anything. I also had them turned off on my BMW. I like having the control to turn on/off my lights when I want. Motorcycles should be the only vehicles with headlights on during the day.
     
  4. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    Well, i have them and i like them.
    If it "distracts" others then i think they are doing what they were disigned for.
    I know i read somewhere that tests show vehicles with DRL's are in fact more easily seen than vehicles without.
    BTW, i agree with the fog light thing and teenagers, but there are in fact many night time driving lights that are also located in the lower air dam (valance) of cars and trucks. These are just as strong as the regular lights but mounted closer to the ground and give better visability of the road when working in tandem with the regular car lights.
    Here are my DRL's, they dont seem very distracting.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast

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    I don't like the daytime running lights on my Celica. Unfortunately, since it is a 2000, they cannot be turned off.

    I have seen no evidence to support that DRLs make a vehicle any safer on the road. That's clearly up to the millions of other drivers out there.
     
  6. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    Another vote for them. I've found that I might have missed a car for several thousand feet without them, and there are so many cars that fail to turn on their lights at dusk/dark that this is a nice saftey net for the inattentive. A welcome addition to the road, I say.
     
  7. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    Very true Alex.
    Here you go Clinton [​IMG] [​IMG]
    DRLs, at sufficient levels of intensity, increase visual contrast between vehicles and their background. Various studies have shown that DRLs can improve the noticeability and detectability of vehicles in the central and peripheral fields of view. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Reports , Vol. 110 ; No. 3 ; Pg. 233; ISSN: 0033-3549 (May, 1995); Allen, J. M., Strickland, J., Ward, B., and Siegel, A.: Daytime headlights and position on the highway. Am J Optometry 46: 33--36 (1969); Attwood, D. A.: Daytime running lights project, IV: Two-lane passing performance as a function of headlight intensity and ambient illumination. Technical Report RSU 76/1. Defense and Civil Institute of Environmental Medicine, Downsview, Ontario, Canada, 1976; Attwood, D. A.: Daytime running lights project, II: Vehicle detection as a function of headlight use and ambient illumination. Technical Report RSU 75/2. Defense and Civil Institute of Environmental Medicine, Downsview, Ontario, Canada, 1975; Horberg, U.: Running light--twilight conspicuity and distance judgement. Report 215. Department of Psychology, University of Uppsala, Sweden, 1977; Horberg, U., and Rumar, K.: Running lights--conspicuity and glare. Report 178. Department of Psychology, University of Uppsala, Sweden, 1975; Kirkpatrick, M., Baker, C. C., and Heasly, C. C.: A study of daytime running lights design factors. (DOT HS 807 193). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington, DC, 1987.; Ziedman, K., Burger, W., and Smith R.: Evaluation of the conspicuity of daytime running lights. (DOT HS 807 609). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington, DC, 1990.
    International Studies
    Andersson, K., Nilsson, G., and Salusjarvi, M.: The effect of recommended and compulsory use of vehicle lights on road accidents in Finland. Report 102A. National Road and Traffic Research Institute, Linkoping, Sweden, 1976.
    A study in Finland conducted between 1968 and 1974 found that DRLs, when required on rural roads in the winter, were associated with a 21-percent reduction in daytime multiparty crash events (involving more than one motor vehicle or motor vehicles colliding with pedestrians or pedalcyclists).
    Andersson, K., and Nilsson, G.: The effect on accidents of compulsory use of running lights during daylight hours in Sweden. Report 208A. National Road and Traffic Research Institute, Linkoping, Sweden, 1981.
    In Sweden, a study based on 2 years of pre-law and 2 years of post-law data reported and 11-percent reduction in multiparty daytime crashes subsequent to the DRL law.
    Vaaje, T.: Kjorelys om dagen reducerer ulykkestallene. Arbetsdokument 15.8.1986. Transportokonomisk institutt, Postboks 6110 Etterstad, N-0602 Oslo 6, Norway, 1986.
    A study in Norway published in Norwegian and reviewed by Koornstra found a 14-percent drop in multiparty crashes prior to the law, during the 1980-85 period when voluntary DRL use was climbing.
    Elvik, R.: The effects on accidents of compulsory use of daytime running lights for cars in Norway. Accid Anal Prev 25: 383-398 (1993).
    A study in Norway, covering the period 1980 to 1990, examined the effect of the country's DRL law, which applied to new cars in 1985 and to all cars beginning in 1988. DRL use was estimated to be about 30-35 percent in 1980-81, 60-65 percent in 1984-85, and 90-95 percent in 1989-90, so, as in the earlier Scandinavian studies, only partial implementation of DRLs was assessed. There was a statistically significant 10-percent decline in daytime multiple-vehicle crashes associated with DRLs in this study, excluding rear-end collisions, which increased by 20 percent. For all daytime crashes involving multiple parties, there was a statistically significant 15-percent reduction associated with DRLs in the summer but not in the winter. No significant effects of DRLs were found for collisions involving pedestrians or motorcyclists.
    Hansen, L. K.: Daytime running lights in Denmark--Evaluation of the safety effect. Danish Council of Road Safety Research, Copenhagen, 1993; Hansen, L. K.: Daytime running lights: Experience with compulsory use in Denmark. Fersi Conference, Lille, 1994.
    Two studies evaluating Denmark's 1990 DRL law have been completed, 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 percent) in the first year and 3 months the law was in effect, with one type of DRL-relevant crash (left turn in front of oncoming vehicle) reduced by 37 percent. In the second study, which covered 2 years and 9 months of the law, there was a 6-percent reduction in daytime multiple-vehicle crashes, and a 34-percent reduction in left-turn crashes. There was a small reduction in motor vehicle-pedalcyclist collisions (4 percent) but a statistically significant increase (16 percent) in motor vehicle-pedestrian collisions.
    North American Studies
    Some DRL critics have attempted to undermine the unequivical results of international studies on the grounds that driving conditions in Scandinavian countries are not comparable to North American driving conditions. The following studies utterly refute this assertion
    Cantilli, E. J.: Accident experience with parking lights as running lights. Highway Research Record Report No. 32. National Research Council, Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, 1970.
    In the United States, a small-scale fleet study conducted in the 1960s found an 18-percent lower daytime, multiple-vehicle crash rate for DRL-equipped vehicles.
    Stein, H. S.: Fleet experience with daytime running lights in the United States. Technical Paper 851239. Society of Automotive Engineers, Warrendale, PA. 1985.
    In a much larger fleet study conducted in the 1980s, more than 2,000 passenger vehicles in three fleets were equipped with DRLs.
    One fleet operated in Connecticut, another in several States in the Southwest, and the third operated throughout the United States. A 7-percent reduction was found in daytime multiple-vehicle crashes in the DRL-equipped vehicles compared with control vehicles.
    Aurora, H., et al.: Effectiveness of daytime running lights in Canada. TP 12298 (E). Transport Canada, Ottawa, 1994.
    In a study in Canada comparing 1990 model year vehicles (required to have DRLs) with 1989 vehicles, a statistically significant 11-percent 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 percent of 1989 vehicles were fitted with DRLs. Collisions involving pedestrians, pedalcyclists, motorcyclists, and heavy trucks and buses were not included in this study.
    Sparks, G. A., et al.: The effects of daytime running lights on crashes between two vehicles in Saskatchewan: a study of a government fleet. Accid Anal. Prev 25: 619-625 (1991).
    In another Canadian study, crashes of vehicles with and without DRLs in a government fleet in Saskatchewan were compared with a random sample of crashes involving vehciles without DRLs. The estimated reduction in daytime two-vehicle crashes was 15 percent. When the analysis was limited to two-vehicle collisions most likely to be affected by DRLs--involving vehicles approaching from the front or side--the estimated reduction was 28 percent.
    Society of Automotive Engineers Inc., Automotive Engineering Vol. 102 ; No. 8 ; Pg. 35; ISSN: 0098-2571 (August, 1994).
    In 1994 Avis, Inc. announced the results of a traveler-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 (DRLs). Those equipped with DRLs 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%.
    Damage severity in the non-DRL group (measured in terms of cost) was 69% greater than that of the DRL-equipped fleet. Only the non-DRL vehicles experienced damage in excess of $15,000. The Avis study involved 1500 cars with DRLs, and 1500 without, representing approximately 29,000 rentals in eight cities in Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, and Washington.
    Summary of the Studies
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Reports , Vol. 110 ; No. 3 ; Pg. 233; ISSN: 0033-3549 (May, 1995).
    In summary, although the studies of DRLs have differed in design, analysis techniques, and outcome measures, the later studies are largely in accordance with the earlier ones, indicating that the overall effect of DRLs on motor vehicle crashes is positive.
     
  8. Joseph Howard

    Joseph Howard Stunt Coordinator

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    Being an astronomer I am against light pollution of
    any form. Day or Night.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Jared_B

    Jared_B Supporting Actor

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    But Henry, they're soooooo ugly!!!

    Also, Don't get DRLs confused with automatic headlights. DRLs are on during the day, while auto headlights just turn on at dusk. Your chevy, I believe, has both. On my '99 S10 4x4 that I had, I was able to disable the DRLs, but not the auto-on headlights.
     
  10. Jamie E

    Jamie E Stunt Coordinator

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  11. Shayne Lebrun

    Shayne Lebrun Screenwriter

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    Here in Ontario, they're manditory. And it's really noticable when a car doesn't have them.

    Of course, I drive with my low beams on at all times.
     
  12. David Susilo

    David Susilo Screenwriter

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    When it suddenly becomes foggy (it used to happen alot in Toronto) DRL is very useful since I'm sure there will me too much morons forgetting to swich on their headlights.

    Well, that aside, if not because of DRL (mandatory for motor bikes in Australia, I presume, since every motor bikes have them on during daytime), I would have accidentally smashed some of them during my drive in Tasmania.

    The roads over there are mainly two way with one lane each way. There are parts that you are allowed to overtake and the rest will be the other way's turn to overtake. At 100 kph, it's easier to see other vehicle coming towards you.

    However, I truly agree that DRL is a waste of energy and should be considered as light pollution. I personally think people should just use their common sense in terms of when they need to turn their headlights on during daytime.

    But again, when "ALL WAY STOP" signs are considered as "OPTIONAL STOP" and/or "DON'T EVEN TRY TO STOP".
     
  13. James RD

    James RD Supporting Actor

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    I have them on my Tundra and agree they are a good idea. And what in the world makes them ugly? They're just lights for Godsakes![​IMG]
     
  14. Jin E

    Jin E Second Unit

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    Interesting to calculate how much money and energy these things waste. I think one of the auto mags did this a while back. You would be suprised. Robing 1/4 a HP from a single car might not be that noticable... but multiply it by all the cars on the road and you start getting significant numbers.
     
  15. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    I personally don't care what other people think. I have them on my car and think they are a good idea. I also have foglights and keep them on when its night time...why? Because I can. When people flash their lights at me because they think I have my brights on I just flash the fog lights on and off to show them I don't. When the brights are on, the fogs are off.
     
  16. Daryl Furkalo

    Daryl Furkalo Second Unit

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    Here in Manitoba they are mandatory too and I find that it is more surprising seeing a vehicle that doesn't have any lights on. I don't mind them.
     
  17. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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  18. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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  19. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast

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    I'll bet they did a study as well showing that people prefer pan & scan to widescreen. [​IMG]
    I'm still not convinced that DRLs make any difference. If you (along with everyone else) are paying attention to what you are doing on the road, they aren't necessary. This is like a thumb-guard on a razor knife. They are there for the sake of the inattentive. I can't count how many times I had employees (when I was a supervisor in mfg.) who sliced themselves anyway - because they weren't paying attention to what they were doing.
    Personally, I don't need to see a headlight to know there's a car there. That big 2000+lb shape moving up at me pretty fast.....odds are it's not a kid on a skateboard.
     
  20. Jared_B

    Jared_B Supporting Actor

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    If someone produced a study that said wearing a fire-proof suit with a full face helmet while driving was safer, would you do it? I wounldn't. It would be an annoyance. It is just my opinion, but DRLs are too.
     

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