The importance of being seen on the road
As they spend more and more time in their vehicles, drivers tend to grow more comfortable behind the wheel. As a result, drivers may be inclined to take certain things, including how visible they are to approaching motorists, for granted.
When drivers think of their vehicle lights, they tend to be most concerned with how those lights impact how they can see the road ahead of them at night. Clearly lit roadways vastly improve driver safety, and the right headlights can go a long way toward illuminating even the darkest of roads. But drivers also must take the necessary steps to ensure they’re easily seen by fellow motorists.
• Routinely inspect all vehicle lights. Headlights can make vehicles more visible to oncoming traffic, but it’s important that drivers routinely inspect brake lights, taillights and signal lights as well. Such inspections can ensure that vehicles behind and alongside drivers’ own cars and trucks can see them as they brake or attempt to change lanes.
• Upgrade to LED lights. Even lights that are working properly can be a serious safety hazard. That’s because the standard incandescent lights found in many vehicles do a poor job of effectively illuminating vehicles when drivers apply the brakes or put their turn signals on. Lights that fail to immediately alert fellow motorists that drivers have applied the brakes or are making a turn can contribute to accidents, especially when vehicles are moving at high speeds.
The new LED lighting technology, which is used in Philips Ultinon LEDs, makes the lights much brighter and more visible than standard incandescent lights, delivering more dynamic lighting for both exterior and interior vehicle applications. Designed as direct replacements for brake and taillights, signal lamps, back up lights, running lights and side markers, Ultinon LEDs turn on instantly and can reduce braking distance by up to 20 feet at speeds as high as 75 miles per hour. That superior, more immediate light output ensures vehicles are seen more quickly when drivers are turning or applying the brakes. And because their advanced design makes them highly resistant to extreme heat, vibration and other potentially harmful environmental conditions, Ultinon LEDs can provide drivers with the peace of mind that their lights will last longer than standard incandescent lights without exhibiting diminished performance.
Lumileds, the exclusive supplier of Philips automotive light products, offers a full range of Ultinon LEDs and has also developed a convenient online Bulb Look Up that helps drivers identify the right LED for their particular vehicles. The Bulb Look Up, available at www.philipsautolighting.com, even tells them where they can buy the LEDs.
• Drive defensively, especially at night. A 2016 analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System found that more than 40 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths in the United States in 2014 occurred between the hours of 6 p.m. and 3 a.m. It’s no coincidence that automotive fatalities spike during nighttime hours, when drivers’ vision is naturally diminished and darkened roadways make it harder to see fellow motorists. When driving during twilight hours and after the sun goes down, drivers can make a concerted effort to drive defensively. Make sure brakes are applied early enough so other drivers have ample time to react, and flip turn signals on long before making turns. In addition, leave more room between your own vehicle and those of fellow motorists, which can protect you and your passengers from drivers whose vehicles are still employing outdated lights.
When driving at night, drivers must remember that seeing and being seen makes for much safer roads. More information about vehicle lighting technology is available at www.philipsautolighting.com.