Should you be using DRLs?

With brighter mornings and longer evenings on the horizon (thank goodness), more and more of us will be looking to get on two wheels before and after work and for an extended commute. As a Torch helmet owner you have the ability to operate Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) at any time you are on your bike. But should you be doing this?

Daytime running lights have been made compulsory on cars in Europe since 2011 but this is not a legal requirement for cyclists. Many promote the use of lights as 80 per cent of accidents involving a cyclist happen in daylight. It is easy to comprehend that a fast-moving object on the road isn’t the easiest thing to spot so adding a permanent set of operating lights makes a lot of sense, even during the day.

According to Cycling Weekly, “A study carried out in Denmark discovered a 19 per cent drop in accidents when cyclists used permanent running lights. When it comes to use in vehicles, results vary – some studies show a five to 10 per cent reduction whilst others demonstrate an accident rate drop of 28 per cent. One study carried out by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found at 23 per cent drop in accidents involving motorcycles and cars when daytime lights were used.”

Logical thinking suggests that if there is a legal requirement for vehicles, then it will probably help cyclists, especially if a rider is stopped for whatever reason on the side of the road and about to ride off into traffic. Anything that promotes increased awareness of the cyclist would be considered a positive in our view.

According to Cycling Weekly, “A study carried out in Denmark discovered a 19 per cent drop in accidents when cyclists used permanent running lights. When it comes to use in vehicles, results vary – some studies show a five to 10 per cent reduction whilst others demonstrate an accident rate drop of 28 per cent. One study carried out by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found at 23 per cent drop in accidents involving motorcycles and cars when daytime lights were used.”

Logical thinking suggests that if there is a legal requirement for vehicles, then it will probably help cyclists, especially if a rider is stopped for whatever reason on the side of the road and about to ride off into traffic. Anything that promotes increased awareness of the cyclist would be considered a positive in our view.

There is also a consideration for the increased safety of the individual away from main traffic routes. 2020 saw a rise in cycle muggings and cycle theft while people were following bike lanes. Bike lanes often navigate through wooded areas or under bridges and other walkways. Adding light to yourself in any way will help keep you visible and may provide enough deterrent to put off any likely attacker.

A spokesperson from the Metropolitan Police in London recently (2020) confirmed, “There have been a number of robberies of cyclists and pedestrians on and around the towpaths in recent months. These robberies occurred in secluded areas hidden from public view; environments where opportunistic robbers can commit crime.”

At Torch, we are of the opinion that DRLs should be used by riders especially when commuting on darker quieter routes and also when riding in high density traffic. The slow flash mode will allow maximum battery use (30hrs+) and provides the surrounding traffic clear signals that you are in motion.

What are your thoughts? Are you a fan of DRLs? Are there arguments against their use?



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