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Drivers underestimate importance of daytime visibility

Visibility is something many motorists take for granted, especially during the day, when sunlight tends to make drivers less cautious than they might be at night. But as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes, more traffic accidents occur during daylight hours than at night, when headlights make vehicles more visible to other motorists and more pedestrians are walking around.

Though many drivers feel more comfortable during daylight hours, pedestrians and oncoming traffic are not always easy to see, especially when weather and road conditions are unfavorable. Fortunately, there are easy ways for drivers to improve their daytime visibility.

Update your headlights

Install LED daytime running lights. Being seen while driving in the daytime is just as essential for a driver’s safety as being able to see when driving at night. Daytime running lights, or DRLs, are an effective way of improving visibility because they make the vehicle more detectable during daylight hours and dusk, when a motorist’s visibility is reduced. Studies have shown that DRLs reduce multiple-vehicle daytime accidents by as much as 11 percent, effectively preventing daytime head-on and front-corner collisions by making it easier to see a vehicle, particularly as it approaches from far away.

Some cars have daytime running lights based off their headlamps. These are not very bright and can ultimately cause the lamps to wear out prematurely. Philips LED DayLight DRLs are equipped with high-powered LUXEON(R) LEDs that project a powerful, bright white light and a wide beam, making a vehicle more visible to fellow motorists as well as pedestrians. In addition, the Philips LED DRLs allow drivers to switch from using their standard headlights to an LED light source during the daytime, extending the life of the headlights while drawing less power from the vehicle.

Check wiper fluid routinely

Some vehicles have just one reservoir for windshield washer fluid, while others equipped with a rear wiper typically have two. Locate these reservoirs and make sure there is an adequate amount of fluid in each, especially during the winter and early spring months when snow and debris such as sand or salt from the roadways can accumulate on the windshield and make it difficult to see. If the reservoir is empty, but you are out of windshield washer fluid, do not use water as a replacement, as water can freeze and cause damage to the reservoir and hoses.

Inspect wipers

Inspect wipers and replace the blades if they are sacrificing visibility. Old or worn out wiper blades can also negatively impact visibility. Ford Motor Company recommends drivers inspect their vehicle’s wiper blades at least once every six months or as soon as they fail to clear your windshield completely or leave streaks. Older vehicles with pitting on the windshield tend to be harder on wiper blades, so drivers who have cars with some extra years under their belt should inspect their blades more frequently.

Keep it clean

Clean interior glass and mirrors. Interior glass can suffer from film buildup that can reduce a driver’s vision, especially during daytime hours when such buildup can create a hazy reflection from the sun. This film can be especially thick in cars where drivers or their passengers routinely smoke.

In addition to cleaning the interior glass, keep the rearview and side mirrors clean and properly adjusted so your vision is not compromised while driving. Drivers should be able to see all of the views around the back of the car, especially the blind spots along both sides of the vehicle. When cleaning or adjusting the rearview mirror, remove any trinkets or other items hanging from the mirror. Such items might add some personality or aesthetic appeal, but they can also prove a significant distraction and make it difficult for drivers to see the road.

More information is available at or from Philips at 1-800-257-6054.