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Prevent accidents by always using headlights

New Jersey residents might like to know about multiple studies regarding headlight usage while driving. Using headlights throughout the day, even when it's bright out, may reduce the chances of an accident. Some vehicles do come with daytime running lights, but most do not have this feature. Therefore, it's usually up to drivers to turn on their headlights.

Even on clear days, headlights make vehicles more distinguishable to others. One study found a 10 percent reduction of accidents from daytime headlight usage. Another study found that permanent headlight usage leads to a 12 percent decrease in pedestrian accidents and a 5.7 percent drop in two-vehicle accidents. Better visibility is cited as the sole reason for lower accident rates.

Regardless of the time of day, motorists often have problems seeing motorcycles. This is especially dangerous since motorcycles offer little in the way of protection for riders. When motorcycles used headlights permanently, there was a 23 percent crash reduction rate with vehicle traveling in the opposite direction.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration looked at fuel efficiency and the cost of replacing headlights more frequently from permanent usage and determined that the cost would be between $3 and $40 a year. This is relatively inexpensive when considering how helpful permanent headlight use could be.

Several other countries have laws that require headlight use during the day. Multiple vehicle accidents dropped in Canada and Denmark because of increased headlight usage, and there was a 37 percent drop in left turn collisions in Denmark.

While increased visibility could prevent some accidents, drivers who are not paying attention to the road could still cause collisions. Distracted driving occurs when one is focused on something other than the road. If an accident is caused by someone texting and driving, this driver could be found negligent and liable for damages related to a crash.

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