Being Seen

Daytime Running LightsModel year 1990 is an important date in Canadian traffic safety history. Regardless of what type of vehicle you have, car, bus or truck, if it was produced in this model year or is newer it must have been manufactured with daytime running lights. More importantly still, BC laws require that if the vehicle was produced with daytime running lights those lights must be operating properly in order to drive legally today.

Daytime running lights have been credited with producing more than an 11% reduction in head on and front corner collisions by making it easier to see oncoming vehicles. In fact, it may be that if your vehicle does not have daytime running lights you may now be at increased risk because drivers are used to identifying oncoming vehicles with these lights operating. You may wish to make a habit of always turning your lights on to eliminate this risk.

Yes, there is a cost to this benefit in terms of extra use of the lamps and increased fuel consumption. Transport Canada estimates this to be between $3 and $15 per year for most low intensity light systems or up to $40 per year low beam headlight systems. I suspect that most people waste more than this each year by idling their vehicles when there is no need. Since you cannot disable daytime running lights watching your idle time may be your contribution to reducing greenhouse gases.

Every time I mention daytime running lights to a group someone remarks that those people who forget that some systems don't turn on their rear lights need to be reminded to remember to turn them on at night or times of poor visibility. Consider the reminder given, along with one to those who don't have daytime running lights to remember to use their light switch at times like these.


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