The following content is sourced from MUARC here.
- Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) are designed to be on during the day to increase the visibility of vehicles
- There have been no recent studies evaluating DRLs currently present in the fleet
- DRLs reduce non-night-time multi-vehicle crash involvement by 8.8%
- Crash reductions were higher at dawn or dusk and in higher speed zones
- A DRL mandate would likely lead to reductions in the overall crash risk of the fleet
Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) reduce the likelihood of being involved in a non-night time multi-vehicle crash and should be mandatory for all new vehicles, according to a study from the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC).
The study found that Daytime Running Lights can reduce non-night-time multi-vehicle crash involvement by 8.8%.
Estimated crash reductions were greater at dawn and dusk and in higher speed zones.
A 20.3% reduction in crash risk was associated with the fitment of DRLs during dawn or dusk and a 13.8% reduction in crash risk was associated with speed zones greater than 75 kilometres per hour.
DRLs are designed to automatically switch on when a vehicle is driven to increase the visibility of a vehicle to other road users during the day.
While the technology has been more prevalent in Australia since the move to LED DRLs, there have been few studies examining the real-world crash-based effectiveness of DRLs in recent years.
“This is the first study to broadly capture the newer type of LED DRLs now commonly fitted on new vehicles by various vehicle manufacturers,” lead author Dr Angelo D’Elia said.
“Given that only around 62% of new vehicles entering the fleet have DRLs fitted as standard across all of their model variants, mandating DRLs is still relevant and would accelerate the process of fitment through the fleet,” Dr Angelo D’Elia said.
“This would likely lead to reductions in the overall crash risk of the fleet”, he said.
DRLs have been mandatory in Europe for all new cars and small delivery vans since 2011 and for trucks and buses since 2012. Dr D’Elia said that an examination of NSW data indicated that, as at 2020, at least half of the existing vehicle fleet does not have DRLs fitted.
The study assessed the relationship between crash risk and the fitment of DRLs using data on crashes that were reported to police in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia between 2010 and 2017. There were 119,606 casualty crashes in the database, of which 11,013 crashes were found to involve at least one vehicle fitted with DRLs.
The paper has published in the Journal of Safety Research and can be accessed here.