Daytime running lights for road safety
Many traffic crashes are the result of failure by the driver
to notice another vehicle, and visual contrast is an essential characteristic,
which enables a driver to detect vehicles.
According to research findings of the DOT-sponsored
University of Natalís Interdisciplinary Accident Research Centre (UNIARC),
Road safety practitioners and administrators have voiced interest in the daytime
running lights (DRLs) strategy as an attempt to reduce carnage on the roads.
The UNIARC report has confirmed that crash reduction
potential of DRLs lies in the driverís ability to capture attention,
especially in the peripheral visual field, thereby enhancing detectability.
Usually, vehicles that put lights on are the ones transporting dead people or
any vehicle that has technical problems on the road.
UNIARC researchers argue that daytime headlights use on
motorcycles has been associated with crash reduction of 7 to 18% and also, a
number of countries require the daytime use of headlights on all motor vehicles
when it is raining or during periods of poor visibility to reduce crashes.
The report states: "The South African National
Department of Transport seems to also have an understanding of eyesight as
another safety factor on the roads. When applying for the new Credit Card Format
(CCF) driving license, applicants are obliged to undergo and pass an eye test to
"Regulation 161A under the Road Traffic Act also
provides an opportunity to fit daytime running lights to vehicles even though it
is not obligatory yet."
"Perception of moving objects and various types of
movements is argued to be extremely important to the "preservation of life
and safety". Research has confirmed that approximately 80% of all road
traffic accidents are due to human factor."
"The use of DRLs would have a positive effects on
specific accidents and would assist in emphasizing the presence of dark coloured
cars on shady roads, rectify failure to see other vehicles in time thus reducing
most daytime and intersection accidents, and enhancing conspicuity of on coming
vehicles, as they are seen faster than vehicles without DRLs."
Furthermore Researchers estimate that one out of every 7
vehicles accidents happen simply because the driver "didnít see" the
other vehicle, and thus reflecting that the eye has imperfections.