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Help requested posted on 16th January 2018:

Daylight Running Lights

I would be interested to hear from anyone who has had any involvement with safety concerns about car daylight running lights. Concerns have been raised by a member of our Brigade who has been witnessing drivers at night on their daylight running lights. These lights appear to only illuminate at the front so drivers appear to be unaware that they are running blind at the back. Many thanks, Andrew Bright, Cleveland Fire Brigade.

Andrew Bright

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Response posted on 16th January 2018 by:
Mark Foweraker

E: m.foweraker@cardiff.gov.uk
T:

Daylight Running Lights

Whilst professionally I have not had any involvement, I would comment that from the few vehicles I am aware of that have DRLs, if the side lights and or other lights are not on - then neither are the instrument panel lights*.

Thus the driver is being careless** and is just the same as the ones I see driving at night (in lit areas) with no lights at all. These drivers also seem remarkably oblivious to the number of vehicles that flash them as they drive unlit at night.

*my Seat Ibiza does not have automatic lights, but actually switches off the instrument panel lights if the sensor (that would work them) thinks the light is getting poor.
**clearly not even checking their speedometer.


Response posted on 17th January 2018 by:
Peter Rodger

E: Peter.Rodger@iam.org.uk
T: _

Daylight Running Lights

DLR have been compulsory for some years now. In most cars I understand they put the front lights and dashboard lights on, but not the rear lights. There are exceptions (I am told that there is a querk in the rules around models already in production when DLR's were introduced). Using the light switch to put side/headlights on over-rides the DLR'S, and illuminates the rear. In many cars the driver cannot see the difference to their own car from the driving seat, other than the switch position. Anecdotally, the problem is widespread, although I have seen no evidence of it generating a casualty problem.
Peter Rodger, Head of Driving Advice, IAM RoadSmart


Response posted on 18th January 2018 by:
Peter Barnes. DVSA ADI ONG

E: peter2drive@blueyonder.co.uk
T: 01515213136

Daylight Running Lights

One is seeing this less of a problem now but fortunatly one is only aware of this error when behind the vehicle in question so in that sense the vehicle is moving away from one,When flashed the said driver my take one's signal to be offensive rather than advisory and ignored


Response posted on 18th January 2018 by:
Nigel Flower

E: nigel.flower@devon.gov.uk
T: 01392 383895

Daylight Running Lights

I have to say that I see this more and more often with people driving in unsuitable conditions rain etc with just their DLR o.

I think a lot of people assume that because they have their DLR on then that is enough.

This is something that needs to be sorted.

Nigel


Response posted on 18th January 2018 by:
Shane Martin

E: shanemartin@tfl.gov.uk
T:

Daylight Running Lights

I think the issue maybe two-fold in that people are becoming more used to auto-headlights and that they are seeing some luminance from the daytime running lights and not realizing they don't have any actual headlights illuminated or appreciate that they aren't lit at the back.

possible remedies as I see it would be advertising to increase awareness or trying to get a change so that the requirement for daytime running lights also includes a light on the instrument panel to show this? Admittedly many drivers already don't appreciate what many of the lights on their dash mean.


Response posted on 18th January 2018 by:
Martin Wise

E: martin.adi@me.com
T:

Daylight Running Lights

An interesting "human factor" aspect - when you get in your car at night, with anything in front of you eg. garage door, wall, other parked car etc.the DRL illuminate your view and your brain can tick the "lights on box". Reverse, then drive off, on well lit roads you might not notice no headlights! Only when you get to dark roads, "hang on - where's my lights?", then you might realise you don't have them on.
I've not actually done all the above, but I have reversed away from my garage door thinking I've got lights! In my Skoda if outside is dark, the dashboard light goes off - hint hint, and only comes on when you turn the headlights on. Similar I guess to auto headlights. Simple light sensor, when it's dark, dashboard goes off.
Car systems do need to save us from 'human factors' cos it is easy to get confused, and yes, there are one or two idiots out there!

One annoying thing about DRLs - they are much brighter than 'side lights'. When I turn the dial, "cos I want more lights", from DRL to sides, ok, I've got my red ones on, but now only two small candles on the front. (& my dashboard goes off with sides on, can't drive with them on, must have headlights). Be nice if logic of 'the more I turn the dial, the more light I have' but side lights are from old parking/lighting regs.
Be interesting to do a test on whether cars could drive at night, in towns, with DRLs and rears. Could still be visible enough but now no glare? Obviously, would have to turn headlights on on faster roads and unlit ones.


Response posted on 22nd January 2018 by:
Andrew Bright

E: abright@clevelandfire.gov.uk
T: 07725956570

Daylight Running Lights

Many thanks for all the above responses which are much appreciated. There appears to be a need for both education and maybe some more robust "idiot" proof technology to prevent drivers putting themselves and others at risk. I wonder if the motor industry have this issue in their sights? Andrew Bright, CFB


Response posted on 25th January 2018 by:
Tim Schewe

E: tim@drivesmartbc.ca
T:

Daylight Running Lights

This is a constant problem here in British Columbia, Canada. One does not have to look far each evening to see a vehicle being driven in the dark with no rear lights on.

People think that because they have dashboard lights lit, the rear is too.

The other problem comes from drivers who leave their headlight switch at automatic, never check it and it has been set to off by mistake. Since the dash is illuminated....

Our provincial government has started a campaign and it is common to hear on social media, but it hasn't made a change on the highway.


Response posted on 26th January 2018 by:
Edward Handley

E: edward@wrrsconsultancy.co.uk
T: 07980875002

Daylight Running Lights

I am not aware of any formal research having been done but I have personally seen a quite a few people driving with just the front lights - one, a black Honda Civic was driving along the M25 at about 5.30 on a January morning in heavy rain with a lot of spray - I could not actually see the car but was aware that there was a patch of random spray in front of me. It took a lot of flashing of headlights and hazards to get the message across to the driver that the lights were not on. I have also followed a car on a country lane which was driving very slowly, presumably because the lights were so dim the driver could not see where he was going.

A similar problem exists with automatic headlights which switch on when it gets dark. An excellent idea in many ways, but they do create a serious hazard in fog - if a driver sets off on a dark foggy morning the vehicle automatically turns the lights on. However, when it gets light, the vehicle turns them off, despite the thick fog, because the light sensors do not recognise fog. On most cars the system does not request confirmation before switching off the lights, it just does it, so it is easy for the driver to be totally unaware that he is driving through fog with no lights.


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