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Why You Shouldn‘t Use Your Headlights During Daytime Driving

Monday, April 17, 2017
Mark C
Headlight During Daytime

You probably learned in Driver’s Ed that you should turn on your headlights when you drive even if it’s light outside. You were taught this in order to increase your visibility on the road for other motorists. While the intention was good, the results are dim and pick your pocket in gas!


What does using your headlights during the day have to do with gasoline?

If the estimated 244 million cars in America were required to turn their headlights on during the day, we would spend over 406 million gallons of gas each year. If gas averages out to approximately $3 per gallon, the price tag on 406 million gallons is about $1 billion. For each driver, this only averages to $10 per year; however, all the small savings within the larger picture only help to reduce the requirement of this resource in America.


Aren’t there still cases when you need to turn on your lights?

Of course! There are several instances to use your lights to keep you safe. Use your headlights in inclement weather conditions to include rain, snow, fog, sleet, or smoke. If you’re on rural or mountain roads, your lights will provide more visibility over unfamiliar terrain. There are tricky times of day when the sun is either in your eyes or shining into your mirrors and street lamps. Your lights will help you see what is in front of you and help others who are also squinting against the light notice your presence on the road. In any of these conditions, headlights may make obstacles easier to spot and help avoid accidents.


How much do your headlights really help with visibility during the day?

While Transport Canada claims collisions decrease by 11.3% with the use of daytime running lights, others feel the lights distract oncoming drivers. It can also be argued those without daytime running lights become less visible when a number of others turn on their headlights during the day.


Choosing LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) Will Save You Money

If you want to go the middle route and be safe rather than sorry, LED lamps on your back up lights may reduce the amount you spend at the pumps while using the long distance light projection on your halogen headlights during daylight hours. LED car lights are available in several different styles and wattages. Compared to the low beam lamps using 160 watts, an LED lamp uses only 16 watts per vehicle. Should the US ever join the ranks of other countries requiring daytime running lights, a spike in gas prices resembling the 2008 record could cause a noticeable spending increase with continued use of halogen bulbs.


A few good reasons to switch to LED back up lights


  • LED lights are much brighter than their halogen counterparts; the visibility of your vehicle will improve while not blinding oncoming traffic with LED headlights.
  • LED lights last longer, so, your brake lights will outlive the average bulb.
  • LED lights draw less power than a typical halogen bulb; it may even help extend the life of your car battery.


Choose DRLs over headlights for daytime visibility

While your headlights should be used at night and in nasty weather, you can maintain safe daytime visibility with LED DRLs. You won’t have spend more time at the pump for the gas you expend on running headlights during the day while still increasing your visibility with a smaller, bright light designed to be visible rather than light the road ahead of you.



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