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Lighting up may increase your life expectancy.

No, we've not suddenly reversed our position on smoking. It's lighting up our cars that will reduce the number of car crashes, which last year accounted for more than 44,000 deaths and 5 million injuries in the United States.

Many states now require motorcyclists to drive with their lights on at all times, and some European countries require daytime running lights. Canada requires all new vehicles to have front lights that go on whenever the engine is running.

Daytime running lights are especially important when rain or anything else impairs visibility, and in New York state, motorists risk a $100 fine if they do not turn on their low-beam headlights whenever they turn on their windshield wipers.

The reason for this emphasis on daytime running lights is that it makes cars more visible. Turning on headlights also turns on taillights, of course, which gives the driver a much better chance of avoiding a rear-end collision under conditions of poor visibility.

It has been estimated that the cost of keeping lights on during the day is about five cents for every $10 of gas consumed--hardly an economic consideration.

If you've wondered why some drivers on our highways have their lights on during the day. now you know. So take a tip from our northern neighbors and at least turn on your low-beam headlights at daybreak, at dusk, and anytime the day is less than optimally bright.
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Title Annotation:using headlights to prevent accidents
Publication:Medical Update
Date:Aug 1, 1992
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