Although laws do not require drivers in Michigan to turn their headlights on during the day, the simple act heightens vehicle visibility and reduces crashes. A variety of studies have examined the effects of headlight use on clear days and found that the strategy lowered accidents by as much as 10 percent.
A closer look at the data revealed that the incidence of certain types of accidents associated with severe injuries and even deaths fell with daytime headlight use. Two-vehicle wrecks fell by 5.7 percent, and pedestrian accidents went down by 12 percent. Motorcycle crashes with vehicles coming from opposite directions showed the most dramatic reduction at 23 percent.
In countries that enacted laws that require headlights to be turned on throughout the day, studies confirmed that the increase in daytime headlight use cut down on accidents. In Denmark, crashes caused by left-turn mistakes dropped by 37 percent. Multiple-vehicle accidents in Canada decreased by 11 percent.
Regulations in the United States do not require automakers to include daytime running lights. As a result, only a little more than one-quarter of vehicles include the lights in their standard packages. For the most part, people must voluntarily choose the safety strategy of turning their headlights on in clear daytime weather.
When people fail to drive responsibly, the car accidents that they cause could impose liability for their victims' damages. Occupants of other vehicles who have been injured in such a collision caused by the negligence of another motorist might appreciate having legal assistance when seeking to be compensated for their medical bills and other losses.