DRLs - Boon or Bane?

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,400
edited October 2014 in Toyota
Have Daytime Running Lights turned out to be the big safety feature that they were touted to be when they first appeared?

Let's (pun alert) shed some light on the situation!


  • spyderonespyderone Member Posts: 54
    I bet that if you could get statistics on this there have probably been more people saved from DRL's than lost their life.......

    L know from my personal experience that if it weren't from DRL's I possibly could of had a wreck from not seing the oncoming vehicle but the DRL's made the vehicle visible.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    I'm not arguing against DRLs as a concept, just against the stupid bureaucratic way they were initially (and in some cases still) implemented.

    In the locations I’ve lived since DRLs originally appeared south of the Canadian border, I’d SWAG far more accidents have been caused due to them than they have avoided. The thing is, this is a statistic that is highly unlikely to be proven either way (how do you quantify accidents that never happened?); regardless, in many areas of the U.S. DRLs are an ongoing danger to oncoming drivers.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    edited June 2011
    To put the above statements (moved from a different thread) into context, my issue with DRLs as they were originally implemented (and often still are) is that they were sourced from the high-beam segment of the forward lighting, just slightly depowered from the night-time brilliance. While such a DRL may well be useful and non-hazardus when driving on a straight roadway through a sun-drenched flat corn-field (or even a corn-field nearing dusk), they can literally blind oncoming drivers on the tree-shrouded two-lane roads that wind around over hill and dale here in New England.

    Fortunately for me I have good "night-vision" where my eyes quickly shrug off the effects of dazzling light, however, I've been a passenger in cars that have been driven off the road or into the oncoming traffic lanes by drivers whom have lost their vision for a few seconds due to the brilliance of DRLs.

    Were it that the implementation of DRLs was akin to BMWs "Angel Eyes" (halo type light rings around the main driving lights), I'd have no complaint what-so-ever about this so called "safety feature".
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,466
    Good idea, but too many people drive with them on at night - no rear lights. Never underestimate the idiocy of the average motorist.
  • gambit293gambit293 Member Posts: 406
    I hate headlights that blind other drivers, but isn't that really a separate issue? I've always associated overly bright headlights with 1) poorly (or improperly) angled headlights; 2) the proliferation of SUVs and other high-riding vehicles; and 3) the use of HID lights (whether aftermarket or factory).

    Yes, 3) relates to DRLs, but I've never had a problem of being blinded by DRLs during the "day." I've only found overly bright lights to be obnoxious during the evening and night, when the high contast prevents you from the discerning the dark surroundings around you.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    "I've only found overly bright lights to be obnoxious during the evening and night, when the high contast prevents you from the discerning the dark surroundings around you."

    My point exactly. Where I live there are many-many roads which have such a dense canopy of foliage from the trees reaching so far across the road their branches intermingle that even on the brightest of days it is effectively "dusk" down on the road surface. Add hills and curves to the equation and many DRL implementations become "obnoxious" to say the least.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,400
    As soon as DRLs were promoted as a safety item, the question came to mind, "What about when all or most cars have DRLs on?" Suddenly those cars that stood out from the traffic and caught your attention so you didn't pull out in front of them are just another set of lights in the crowd.

    Maybe flashing DRLs ;)
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    edited June 2011
    That's the motorcycle argument. I see lots of them with "variable" headlights on.

    I like DRLs. Wish my cars had them. I usually turn my lights on if I'm driving out of town. The old Subaru is nice that way; I just leave the lights on and they go off when I turn the car off. Even if they all had 'em, lights still make cars stand out a bit (especially around here where there's not much traffic and a lot of two lane anyway).

    I pulled out in front of a motorcycle a year or so ago. No lights, and I just didn't see him. Bugged me and he was really irritated.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,400
    edited June 2011
    My biggest beef with DRLs is that they are NOT headlights that come on when it's dark, which a fair number of people seem to think they are.

    As soon as you make people think that something's being done for them, they think they don't have to worry about doing it. Personal case in point, when my Versa is running, the dash lights are on. At night, in a well-lit parking lot, I have started to drive off without turning on the headlights because from inside the car, it LOOKS like I've already turned them on. :shades:

    It's why I cringe when I see the M-B commercial where people say, "I didn't know the car in front of me had stopped, but my car did."
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Around here the bar parking lots aren't very well lit. ;)

    Now that you mention it though, I wouldn't mind automatic headlights. Wouldn't have to worry about them at all, unless I started going to star-gazing parties.
  • ray80ray80 Member Posts: 1,655
    My GM vehicles are automatic, never have to turn a switch for the lights day night or in-between. Not perfect though as in low light levels in winter the sensor can get confused and turn night-time lighting on during the day, this puts panel lighting and radio in low power mode and you can't see them unless you turn dimmer switch up ( I have seen quite a few questions about it at various forums).
    One of my vehicles has parking lights as opposed to low power high beams for DRL's and this vehicle is black. Didn't take long for me to notice people were not seeing me and I had more instances of them pulling out in front of me.
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