In North Carolina, motorists are not required to use their headlights except at night or during storms. If they used them whenever they drove, however, lives could be saved. Multiple studies have demonstrated that using headlights whenever people drive helps to reduce accidents and fatalities.
While headlights are very effective during the night for improving the ability of drivers to see the roads as well as other cars, research has consistently demonstrated that using headlights during clear days also helps to reduce the incidence of accidents. Researchers believe this is because using headlights during the daytime hours makes vehicles more visible to others.
One study showed that the number of two-vehicle crashes decreased by 5.7 percent when daytime headlights were used. Twenty-three percent fewer motorcycle accidents occurred when daytime headlights were used, and 12 percent fewer pedestrian accidents happened. Studies in Europe, where daytime headlight use has been mandated in many countries, demonstrated that there was a 37 percent reduction in left-turn accidents. Canada, which has similar laws, showed a reduction in the number of multiple-vehicle crashes of 11 percent.
Despite these consistent findings, there is still no law in the U.S. mandating that automobile manufacturers install daytime running lights as a standard feature. Drivers may help to reduce their risks of being involved in accidents by using their headlights during the day even if the lights do not come on automatically. When people are struck by drivers who failed to see them, the injured victims may have the grounds to file lawsuits against the drivers. Experienced personal injury lawyers may help the victims to hold the negligent drivers accountable so that the victims can recover damages to compensate them for their losses.