Ever since the early 1990’s, Canadian made vehicles came equipped with automatic Daytime Running lights. These low wattage headlights came on as soon as the driver started the engine and released the parking brake. This was a good idea, but they weren’t very bright and would often burn out after just a few years; although the regular low beam headlights would still work. The question I often hear is; why have your low beam headlights on during the daytime?
This photo is a good example of why your low beam headlights need to be on during daytime hours. The sun is so distracting and blinding for oncoming drivers, but by having your low beam headlights on, it can cut through the glare and make your vehicle more visible to other drivers. The same can be said about your tail lights. The drivers behind can see you a little better when the sun is that bright. Automatic Daytime Running lights often do not activate the rear lights. Low beam headlights do though.
Even though the law may tell you to have your headlights on half an hour before sunset and half an hour after sunrise, it’s a good idea to keep them on all day long and not just during those times. The purpose for the half hour before and after is to allow your eyes to adjust to the different lighting conditions. We need our lights on for more reasons than that.
I had a student’s parent complain to me that we were causing them to spend more money by having the driver turn their headlights on during the daytime. Their father said it would cause him to buy headlight bulbs sooner and that costs money. Since you blended into the background without your headlights on during a bright day, a driver may drive into you would cost you more. Having to miss work and lose pay would cost more than buying headlight bulbs.
Here’s your new plan; after starting your engine, turn on your low beam headlights. This can help others notice your vehicle… even in daylight. It’s worth the $4 a year to be seen by other drivers.