For three years, I had the privilege to live overseas in Norway. It was a fantastic experience and one I recall fondly. It wasn’t drastically different from living in the US but one of the minor habit changes I had make was driving with vehicle headlights on at all times.
Until driving overseas I had always used my headlights in a self-serving manner – to allow me to see where I was going – basically when it was dark as required by US law.
Very few cars had daytime running lights when I learned to drive (although Chevy Silverado’s, Suburban’s, and their GMC counterparts did and I vividly recall the overwhelming majority ALWAYS had one of them burnt out – anyone else pay attention to details like that?)
After getting into the habit of turning on all my lights all the time and driving with others who were required to do so I became very accustomed to it.
During my first visit back to the States I immediately noticed how much further away I identified the cars that had their headlights on during the day versus those who did not.
It so profoundly impacted visibility and the ability to “see” and therefore “be seen” by other drivers that to this day, in whatever vehicle I drive, I always turn the headlights on.
In my current vehicle, which is equipped with automatic daytime running lights, I still turn the knob to the full ON position.
Why I skip the daytime running lights
My rational for skipping the automatic daytime running lights is that it turns the high beams on at a very low wattage during daylight – that’s it. It is absolutely better from a visibility standpoint than not having any lights on, but when I turn the lights full ON – I get my headlights as well as front AND back running lights.
Take the increased visibility concept from the front of the vehicle and apply it to the back – having my taillights on increases my visibility from the rear as well, even in full sunlight.
Won’t my bulbs burn out earlier?
I hear the crowd grumbling about bulb longevity. Yes, you will put more hours of use on your bulbs and they will likely burn out sooner, but to me, the trade off in safety is well worth it in the long run. Changing bulbs is often simple and if you replace what you can with LEDs they’ll last even longer next time!
What do you notice?
Over the next few weeks I encourage you to identify how soon your “see” other vehicles during the day. Do you notice, as I do, the vehicles with their headlights on sooner (farther away) than those without?
How about cars in your lane, from the rear? Do the cars with their taillights on attract your attention sooner than those that don’t?
My Challenge To You
I challenge you to pay attention the next time you’re on the road – let me know what your perception is – do you “see” other cars sooner when their headlights are on during the day?
Join me in making this simple habit change – turn your vehicle’s lights to full ON regardless of time of day and increase your visibility.
- Turn your headlights on every time your drive your car.
- Help me spread the word about this simple habit change – Pin This on Pinterest using the buttons below or share it on Facebook with your family!