It’s hard to believe that way back in 1960 (almost 52 years ago now), luxury automobile manufactures including Cadillac, Lincoln and Imperial got a bright idea (literally): automatic headlights to help the mentally defective masses reduce the stress of having to manually turn a knob from “off” to “on.” Now, these features are fairly common in just about every car in America. But still, they go widely unused, and I constantly see vehicles driving with no headlights well after the sun has gone down.
It boggles my mind to think about why someone would turn the automatic feature off in the first place! Unless you are a gang member doing a slow speed drive-by, there is no reason you shouldn’t have your car do all the work and decide whether the ability for other vehicles to see your car is important. Besides, who does drive-bys anymore? That is SO 1996.
And yes, I will admit that sometimes it can be annoying to see a car with its headlights on at 2PM, when its sunny and not a cloud in the sky. Why are they on? The short answer: to help save lives. A 1989 LA Times article explained that a study conducted in Orange County, California showed a 58% drop in the number of car accidents following a campaign that reminded drivers to turn on their headlights while driving during the daytime.
A Volkswagen commercial on the radio a few years ago said it best: if other passengers are busy yelling “hey buddy, your headlights are on!” then they are less likely to hit you.
It’s a free feature in your car. Use it. Learn to love it. And in the words of Ron Popeil, “set it and forget it!”