Motorists who drive in the dark with daytime running lights: it often leads to irritation among other road users and also creates dangerous situations.

Not only because these lamps are inadequate in the dark, but also because the rear lights on older cars are not on.

Fortunately, there is a solution.

Especially in the dark months of the year, good car lighting is of great importance, but things often go wrong.

In older cars it is quite clear: if the dashboard lighting is not on, you are driving without the light.

Whether that is city light or low beam.

But around the turn of the century, continuous dashboard lighting became fashionable, causing some drivers to sometimes forget to turn on the headlights.

Since the advent of daytime running lights, drivers have made even more mistakes.

Daytime running lights became mandatory for new cars in 2011 to make them more visible to other road users during the day.

"Daytime running lights are primarily intended to make an approaching car more visible in normal visibility. For that reason, the rear lights did not initially light up; after all, this does not add anything", says the ANWB.

But those who drive in the dark with daytime running lights have two problems.

First of all, daytime running light is much less bright than low beam, so you have a poorer view of the road and other traffic.

And with older cars, the rear lights are also switched off during daytime running lights, with all the consequences that entails.

"That can lead to dangerous situations, and we do get complaints about it", the ANWB says.

"It has led to a change in the regulations."

For cars that entered the road after January 30, 2015, the rear lights must now also light up or there must be a warning that they are not lit in the instruments.

Incidentally, incorrect use of daytime running lights mainly occurs in cars that do not have a light sensor.

After all, such a sensor ensures that the dipped beam switches on automatically as soon as it gets dark: the driver does not have to think about it.

In older cars, the daytime running light on does not automatically mean that the rear lights are on.

(Photo: Renault)

'Always switch on low beam'

Mark Maaskant of Prodrive Academy, a company that provides road safety and user training, points out the driver's own responsibility.

"Our advice is to always drive with the dipped beam on. This way you are visible from the front and rear. Being visible to other traffic is safer."

If your taillights don't come on with daytime running lights turned on, and you would like to, then this is usually quite easy to adjust by a garage.

"An expert mechanic can undoubtedly also connect the daytime running lights to the rear lights", says Tom Huyskens of BOVAG.

'Fog lights are not superfluous yet'

In the meantime, the development of car lighting is continuing.

New car headlights are true works of art.

Not just to look at, but especially with regard to the light output.

In addition, the light units are getting smarter, for example by automatically partially switching off the light beam or controlling it so that you do not blind your oncoming vehicle despite the high beam.

And the headlamps of the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class are so sophisticated that they are capable of projecting warning symbols onto the road.

Still, the good old fog light still doesn't seem superfluous.

Because the quality of the headlight and light beam is one thing, their placement is another, says Huyskens.

"It's mainly about the position of the fog lights, because it's at the bottom of the bumper, so they can shine wide under the fog. If you only have to rely on your headlights, you will see more fog."

The ANWB endorses this view.

"Fog lamps produce a wide, non-glare beam at the front of the car that falls low to illuminate the road under the fog bank. High beams are usually unusable during dense fog, as the fog reflects the light back and can blind you yourself. touch."

According to the association, recent innovations such as matrix and even laser headlights do not make traditional fog lights superfluous.

The new generation of Mercedes headlights can project warning symbols.

(Photo: Mercedes-Benz)