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Study: DRL Saves Lives! But Not Motorcyclist Ones

  Posted at 02:00:00 PM
  File under  Statistics Safety
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France
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In a recent study in The Netherlands, the Dutch National Road Safety Research Institute (SWOV Open link in a new window), has determined that if all cars drive with their headlights on during daytime (DRLDaytime Running Lights - having your car lights on during the day.), 30 road deaths and 500 serious road injuries will have been avoided in the country.

DRL has been a hot issue over recent years, with as many pro as their are against them. But one group of road users is dead set against DRL for cars; motorcycle riders.

Bikers already have DRL, and we were mandated by our respective governments at the time to always have our lights on during daytime. Research, at the time, showed that if motorcycles kept their lights on during daytime, cars could more easily see us. And it's true. With DRL on motorcycles, we are quickly seen.

If all vehicles now start using DRL, then no one will notice us. According to statistics quoted in the research, 5 - 10% of motorcycles accidents were avoided because of DRL.

Now, the European Commission wants to take that away, and make DRL mandatory on all vehicles on the road. So they'll maybe save lives on one hand, but take away on the other.

According to research quoted in the Dutch report, if cars all have DRL, motorcycles will be seen quicker then if no cars have DRL. How did they come to that conclusion? Even a 5 year old will tell you they're wrong. The lab (TNO) used for the tests, put a person in front of a slide show, and the person had to say as quickly as possible how many vehicles it saw on the slide. Some had DRL, some did not. So that is a real-life test, NOT!

And that is a scientific test???? I don't think so! That's baking the results in order to provide politicians with cannon fodder. Let's see how real life test show how well motorcycles are seen when all have DRL. Can you imagine the soccer-mom driving her SUV, cigarette in one hand, mobile phone in the other, 10 screaming kids in the back.... you think she'll see any vehicles on the road, specifically ones that are all alike? She'll never notice the motorcycle in the sea of DRL.

So what do we need to do in order to be more visible on the road if everyone has their lights on? Is this the only solution:

Scooter Many Lights

At least the treehuggers are on our side on this one. They claim more CO2 will be emitted since cars use up more electricity to keep the lights on. Maybe a small amount per car, but over millions of cars, that's a lot of CO2.

So far the politicians are still studying the proposals, but they want to make it a common law throughout Europe. Already new cars need to have electricity saving lights installed. They just getting ready to bury all motorcycles in a sea of lights during the day. And to hell with motorcycle riders!

Click here to read the SWOV Study Open link in a new window (.pdf file in Dutch).


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