Low US driver awareness of lighting maintenance

Osram responds to survey results with advice to American drivers on how to optimise lighting for safer night driving.

Automotive lighting surveyResearch performed by Osram America’s Sylvania Automotive Lighting division revealed that seven out of ten drivers are increasingly concerned about driving at night in the USA.

Conducted online in June 2016 by KRC Research on behalf of Sylvania Automotive Lighting, the findings indicate that the majority (62%) of approximately 1000 American motorists surveyed occasionally avoid driving during evening hours due, in part, to difficulty seeing hazards and other drivers (28%), discomfort with other vehicles’ headlights and brake lights (26%) and decreased trust in other drivers‘ abilities at night (25%).

“Do you want to see better when driving at night? Most people answer yes but do not know there are choices and don’t act on it if they do know,” said Brian Noble, marketing manager at Sylvania Automotive Lighting. “Headlights are an active safety item and the first line of defence on a vehicle, especially during evening hours when roads are dark and dangerous. If drivers cannot see objects on the road, they cannot react. Every second counts and can make all the difference. If you can see an object sooner, you can make a better decision.”

When it comes to headlight maintenance, the survey found that a third of drivers have never changed their headlight bulbs. As a comparison, these motorists have replaced their vehicle’s oil (95%) and windscreen wipers (87%), indicating that headlights are an overlooked component during vehicle maintenance. Making matters worse, 63% of respondents admitted they would only plan to replace one burned out headlight instead of both at the same time, a common mistake among drivers on the road today.

Noble advises: “Always try to swap headlight bulbs in pairs, they are on the same amount of time, and don’t wait until they burn out for a replacement. Headlights dim over time, so if you can’t remember the last time they were changed, now is probably a good time to consider a replacement. This in turn will help drivers feel safer and more confident when driving at night.”

The majority (83%) of drivers agree that better performing headlights are definitely connected to increased vehicle safety, and 63% admit changing their headlight bulbs is a very important precautionary measure. Additionally, just under half of drivers would be likely to change to better headlights if they knew it would improve the safety of their passengers, yet noticeably more would do the same for their brakes (61%) or tyres (55%).

For premium safety during nighttime driving, the Sylvania SilverStar family of automotive lighting includes a variety of high performance headlight bulbs to suit individual needs and driving styles. Sylvania SilverStar ULTRA is the farthest downroad headlight bulb in the company’s product suite. It is also designed with a whiter light which improves contrast of items on or near the road. Together, these features enable motorists to see farther down the road with increased side road and peripheral visibility.

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