Headlights on to survive Christmas – car safety expert

Thursday 22 December 2011, 6:11AM
By Dog & Lemon Guide

All vehicles on the road should have their headlights on over Christmas, says the car review website

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says: “A car with its headlights on is easier to spot than a car with its headlights off. It’s that simple.”

Matthew-Wilson pointed to World Health Organisation statistics showing that vehicles using daytime running lights have a crash rate 10-15% lower than those that do not.

“The evidence that vehicles are safer with their lights on is overwhelming. The European Commission has ruled that all new cars operating in the EU must have daytime running lights.”

A report by Chris Coxon, the former head of the Australian ANCAP crash test program, concluded:

"There is clear evidence that a policy requiring daytime headlight use would result in a significant reduction in the road toll. Because of the body of reputable research supporting this view, we have reached the conclusion that the New Zealand and Australian governments should institute a daytime headlight use policy without delay. A further incentive to this policy is that it would come at virtually no cost to the government and a minor cost to the motorist."

Coxon also concluded that there would be little or no increase in fuel consumption as a result of daytime headlights.

Matthew-Wilson adds:

“Many accidents occur because the vehicle was not seen. In the rain, mist or low light conditions, lights help identify the presence of moving cars. They also tell you if the car ahead is coming towards you or moving away from you – something that is not always obvious, especially if the car is in your lane.”

“You can’t control the other idiots on the road, but you can help protect yourself by being more visible to other motorists.”

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