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of Lives Saved by Daytime Running Lamps
Standard Time This Weekend Makes Increased Visibility More
An estimated 423 U.S. traffic deaths have
been avoided in the last decade because daytime running lamps are
standard on virtually all General Motors vehicles.
If all new vehicles from model year 1996 on
had been equipped with this technology, some 1,236 lives could
have been saved, according to a GM statistical analysis.
In the 10 years since we made daytime
running lamps standard, we can point to more than 85,000 crashes
of all types that never happened, said Bob Lange, GM
executive director of Vehicle Structure and Safety Integration.
The analysis showed an estimated 263 vehicle occupants and 170
pedestrians and cyclists were spared.
Daytime running lamps increase a vehicle's
visibility by illuminating lamps on the front of the vehicle
whenever the headlamps are not turned on. They are based on
scientific studies that show the human eye is better able to
recognize an object against its background when lit.
The increased visibility is especially
important as most of the nation returns to Standard Time this
weekend and an hour of afternoon daylight disappears
with the resetting of clocks. For children whose school day ends
in late afternoon, that could mean walking home from bus stops in
The ability to see oncoming vehicles
in the waning hours of daylight could prevent children from being
injured or killed, Lange said. Daytime running lamps
are a very successful and proven method of keeping pedestrians
from being hurt.
Of the nations 42,636 roadway deaths
in 2004, about 11 percent were pedestrians. The number of
pedestrians injured and killed in traffic crashes has steadily
declined for several years and data suggests daytime
running lamps are a factor.
A study by the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration using federal crash data showed that
daytime running lamps reduced pedestrian and cyclist fatalities
in single-vehicle crashes by about 12 percent.
GM was the first automaker to make daytime
running lamps standard across most of its U.S. passenger vehicle
lineup. GM petitioned NHTSA in 2001 to require all automakers to
install daytime running lamps on new passenger cars, trucks and
General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the worlds
largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader
since 1931. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 325,000
people around the world. It has manufacturing operations in 32
countries and its vehicles are sold in 200 countries . More
information on GM can be found at www.gm.com .