The Downside of Daytime Driving Lights

Tuesday, November 2, 2021 6:52 AM

There is a dark, dark problem associated with daytime driving lights on our vehicles that no one seems to talk about.  One that few recognize, and one that is likely to cause some significant issues unless some regular action and enhanced discipline are implemented in short order.

The problem is, of course, the fact that daytime driving lights prevent the driver from realizing that their regular lights are not on when driving at night.  Many people use the automatic feature on their headlights so they automatically come on when the sensors detect low light conditions.  This could be in heavy overcast conditions or at dusk when the light levels fall below a certain threshold.  But what most people do not realize is that when vehicles are taken in for service, the service technicians turn off the headlights (and obviously the automatic setting).  And these same service technicians then do not return the lights to their orginal setting afterwards, they remain off.  So when people come and pick up their vehicles they go about their business not even thinking that the settings they had on their lights has changed.  And daytime running light, and well lit city streets prevent the drivers from noticing that they are driving without their lights on.  And while driving may not be unduly hampered by this oversight as there is some light coming from the headlights in the daytime driving light mode, and the streetlights provide sufficient visibility, what is really noticed is that there are no illuminated taillights.  And this black out condition is going to cause some problems if it hasn’t already.  The solution, of course, is easy.  Make sure that after you have had your vehicle serviced make sure that the headlights are placed in the appropriate position for you.  And before you drive, especially in low light conditions or at night, make sure that your headlights are on, or appropriately in the automatic position.  Automaticity is wonderful, but it mustn’t replace the care and attention of the operator of the motor vehicle.