The National Safety Council reports that General Motors is the first automaker in the United States to offer standard daytime running lights. The company has been installing the headlamps-on safety system on its cars and trucks to improve the visibility of vehicles in all weather conditions. The first GM vehicles equipped with daytime running lights, which turn on automatically when the vehicle is started, were the 1995 models. GM research shows that daytime running lights will reduce the number of automobile crashes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration helped GM get daytime running lights added as standard safety equipment. Nationwide safety regulations were needed to overcome some states' prohibitions against driving with your lights on. The regulations allowed GM to introduce the feature as standard equipment on a voluntary basis. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety was also instrumental in encouraging the use of daytime running lights in the United States.
Daytime running lights have been required in Canada since 1989. Reports show that certain types of crashes have been avoided and that many consumers are convinced that a headlamps-on system to improve visibility is a valuable safety feature.
An estimated 25 percent of the Canadian owners of older models without the system are making the conscious decision each day to turn on their headlights during daytime hours.
Daytime running lights can be effective in all weather conditions and are most effective on overcast days, in rain and in the short periods after dawn and before sunset. Daytime running lights make vehicles more visible to oncoming traffic.