An evaluation of the impact of daytime running lights on traffic safety in Canada

  • Published: Journal of Safety Research, 28 (4) 257-272, 1997
  • Authors: Tofflemire T C and Whitehead P C
  • Date Added: 25 Jan 2014
  • Last Update: 25 Jan 2014
  • Format: html


Evaluate the impact of daytime running light (DRL) legislation on the incidence of angle and opposing collisions for 1989 cars and 1990 cars in the 1991 calendar year


This study uses a comparative posttest design, using a virtually equivalent comparison group and comparison conditions. The incidence of collisions was compared for cars with DRL and cars without DRL in the same year.

Opposing collisions were head-on and side-swipe where the two vehicles are travelling in opposite directions. Angle collisions included all types of turning collisions and crossing collisions.

Key Findings:

  • Target collisions are reduced by a modest but statistically significant 5.3 %.

  • Making up this total value; the incidence of head collisions was lower for DRL cars than for no DRL cars by 15.0 %, whereas, the incidence of angle collisions displayed only a 2.5 % reduction which was not significant at the 5 % level.


Whilst the number of vehicles registered in 1989 was available, the figure for 1988 had to be obtained from extrapolation. There is an assumption that the use of 1989 vehicles is identical to the use of 1990 vehicles.