Survey Shows U.S. Drivers Understand How to Improve Visibility on the Road, but Aren’t Taking Action

A new survey released today from SYLVANIA Automotive found that drivers are aware that headlights dim and wear over time, but most of those drivers do not take steps to proactively maintain their vehicle’s headlights. According to the survey, seven in 10 (71 percent) drivers agree that headlights dim over time and nine in 10 (90 percent) say that properly aimed headlights can make a big difference in road visibility. However, the same survey found:

  • More than half of drivers only replace headlights individually, as needed, even though the other bulb is probably the same age and worn/dim
  • Nearly one-third of drivers have never changed their headlights or had them replaced by someone else
  • Only four in 10 drivers have ever aimed or had their headlights aimed


As the end of Daylight Saving Time nears, SYLVANIA Automotive is reminding drivers about the importance of headlight maintenance. Headlights dim over time, making them less effective for down-road visibility. Also, if a driver replaces one headlight at a time, the light output will be uneven, meaning one headlight is brighter than the other. Both dim headlights and driving with headlights that provide uneven output can severely impact a driver’s ability to see down the road, ultimately affecting the time they have to react to obstacles. It can also be a distraction to other drivers, and has the potential to negatively impact their visibility.

“It’s critical that drivers move from awareness to action by prioritizing vehicle safety and staying on top of headlight maintenance to ensure safety on the road,” said Craig Landcastle, Product Engineering Manager, SYLVANIA Automotive. “Headlights wear out and dim over time, so if drivers can’t remember the last time they were changed, now is probably a good time to consider a replacement. For optimal visibility, drivers should be sure to swap out headlights in pairs and they should do this proactively, before they burn out.”

The survey findings also indicate that nearly three quarters (73.8 percent) of U.S. drivers are concerned about driving at night. In fact, more than half (54 percent) of drivers will avoid driving at night due to visibility-related issues including difficulty seeing other drivers and hazards, concern/lack of trust of other drivers, and fear of accidents; and more than 37 percent of drivers have gone so far as to change their plans to avoid driving at night.

Other notable statistics from this year’s survey include:

  • Nearly 60 percent of drivers surveyed said that at least half of the time spent in their vehicle is during evening or early morning hours
  • Nearly 75 percent of drivers strongly agree that when it is time to replace headlights, they would be willing to pay more for whiter and brighter headlights to help them see farther down the road and improve clarity while driving at night
  • More than 80 percent of drivers agree that the benefits of better downroad performing headlights are worth the initial investment
(Source: SYLVANIA Automotive)
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