September 30th, 2020| Running daytime headlights is a safety technique that has been utilized by motorcycles for years to make themselves more visible to other vehicles. Studies have shown that the use of headlights during the day can reduce the chances of a vehicle being in an accident by as much as 23%. In California, drivers are legally required on certain stretches of highway to run headlights during the day to reduce the number of crashes.
Daylight Headlight Section on Highway 99All vehicles on the 29-mile length of Highway 99, between Chico and Red Bluff, California, are required to have their headlights on at all times. When the mandate was first given, officials said the area was notoriously plagued by a high number of motor vehicle accidents along the narrow, winding road. Officials worked for more than 18-months to have the initiative passed. Caltrans workers then began installing daytime headlight warning signs along the highway to remind drivers of the new measure.
Did the Daylight Headlight Section Actually Work?Yes. In the seven years following the implementation of the daylight headlight section, the results were impressive. On the Tehama portion of this daylight headlight section, there were:
- 2% fewer daytime crashes resulting in property damage.
- 8% fewer crashes involving injuries.
- No fatal crashes on this stretch from 2014-2017.
Benefits of Daytime HeadlightsStudies show varied results of leaving headlights on during the day, but many suggest that they do reduce the risks of being involved in crashes. That’s true for both standard headlights turned on during the day and daytime running lights, which are designed solely to be kept on during daylight. Keeping headlights on during the day is also beneficial when visibility is low due to inclement weather.
California’s Headlight LawsCalifornia’s headlight laws state that drivers in California are required to use headlights:
- In the dark.
- When continuous use of windshield wipers is needed.
- When visibility is less than 1,000 feet.