Daytime running lights (DRL). They start automatically or the driver starts them with a switch, lever or button. But why can it be dangerous to drive with DRLs on?
Drivers need to know that daytime running lights do not help them see the road better, but help them to be visible in traffic. But DRLs can become dangerous.
Drivers do not benefit from an automatic lighting system depending on the external brightness, they run at night with the DRLs on, but without any light in the rear. It is an extremely risky practice because, especially on the highway, where you drive fast and where there are no lighting poles, the other drivers cannot notice them from behind in time. The situation is just as risky in low-visibility weather conditions, such as rain, snow or fog. In these cases, daylight is not enough.
“I had the dashboard on, I could see that the headlights were lighting in front of me, I didn’t think for a second that the taillights weren’t on,” explains a driver pulled to the right by the police and fined for not using the lights properly at night.
There are many like him. Americans call “ghost cars” vehicles that have their headlights on, but are almost impossible to see from behind.
What happens if you drive with DRLs on at night?
Several years ago, the dull board drew attention to the fact that the lights are also off. Now, on new cars, the dashboard lights up automatically when the engine is started. We don’t even talk about digital on-board instruments. Thus, many times, drivers have no idea that they are not visible in traffic.
The growing number of head-on collisions on public roads has led to a change in safety standards at European level. Since 2011, according to directive no. 89/2008, the presence of DRLs is mandatory for all new cars sold in Member States of the European Union. Thus, the new generation Dacia Logan and Dacia Duster also come with daytime running lights with LED technology. Obviously, the regulation does not affect cars produced before 2011. Their owners are not required to install aftermarket systems.
In Romania, according to article 108 of GEO 95/2002, it provides that drivers will be penalized with 2 points for incorrect use of traffic lights when meeting a vehicle from the opposite direction. The same sanction applies if the driver does not comply with the obligation to use the passing lights during the day on motorways, express roads and European national roads.
In countries like Canada, daytime running lights have been mandatory since the 1990s. But they are not mandatory in the US until now. From this year, Canda requires running with the rear lights on and during the day.
The cars sold in Sweden, the country with extremely strict safety regulations, are all equipped with daytime running lights and taillights. Drivers who do not drive new cars, who already have the system in place, are required to turn on the lights even on clear days.
Models like Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW and Volvo already offer DRLs that light up both front and rear.
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