Past research in Canada, Finland, Sweden and the United States has indicated that daytime running lights (DRLs)--lights on during daylight hours--can reduce the frequency of daytime multiple vehicle crashes. In this study, over 2,000 passenger cars, vans, and pickup trucks in three fleets were modified to operate with DRLs. An inexpensive relay was installed on these vehicles to automatically turn on their front parking lights and rear tail lights with vehicle ignition. In addition, a bulb with a substantially higher intensity minor filament was installed in the front parking light. The crash experience of these vehicles was compared to similar but unmodified vehicles in the fleets. Preliminary results indicate that the daytime multiple vehicle crash rate, relevant to DRL, was 22 percent lower for the modified vehicles. Also, daytime multiple vehicle crashes were a smaller percentage of all of the crashes of modified vehicles than of standard vehicles. Right-angle crashes were most affected for passenger cars; and crashes of vehicles traveling in the same direction were most affected for vans and pickups. Nonequipped standard vehicles were also more often struck in multiple vehicle collisions than were DRL vehicles indicating another benefit of the increased conspicuity of the DRL-equipped vehicles.

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 26 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00396507
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-037 559
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 31 1985 12:00AM