Key Facts:

  • The three major objectives of automobile lighting are to improve driver visual performance in darkness, to improve vehicle conspicuity in specific conditions, and to facilitate communication between road users. Of these, improving visual conditions in the darkness is the primary purpose (Rumar, 2001).

  • High intensity discharge (HID) headlights provide improved forward road illumination, are more energy efficient, and are longer lasting than conventional incandescent headlights. Depending on their design and use, light-emitting diode LED headlights may offer even greater benefits in these areas.

  • Despite early papers reporting their effectiveness, recent studies looking at the benefit of daytime running lights (DRLs) have not reported significant effects for passenger vehicles due to the increase in daytime conspicuity that they produce. However, the estimated trend is often for a substantial benefit, rather than a disbenefit.

  • Under controlled conditions, motorcycles with DRLs can be detected faster than motorcycles without DRLs. Furthermore, changes to the geometry of motorcycle lighting in the future could provide motorcyclists with greater gap allowances than for single headlamp arrangements, because it allows other road users to judge their distance and rate of approach better.

  • Headlight glare resistance declines with human age and therefore is an important consideration for older drivers on the roads at night.

  • The light source for brake lights and their design has an influence on other road users’ reaction times. LED light sources can improve recognition response times associated with vehicle braking compared with incandescent bulb lights.

  • Date Added: 03 Apr 2012, 08:17 AM
  • Last Update: 25 Jan 2014, 11:45 AM