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A presumed safety item that isn't safe - daytime running lights

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2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD
Happened to me once a long time ago in a rental car I did not know well. I could not understand why the headlights are somewhat dim, until I realized how to turn the headlights on. Never drove a car with DRL before that.
When I got my CX-5, I was seriously considering to delete the DRL function, but then I decided against it. Now I use it to delay when I turn on the headlights until other cars, especially from behind, look less visible.
I see from time to time people driving in complete darkness with only DRLs. I try to flash my lights at them with partial success. California drivers just don't understand what to do when you flash your lights at them.

People and headlights is a big problem. Too many drivers mess with their headlights, too many drive with their high beams on all the time and ignore if you flash your lights at them. The CHP do pretty much nothing in this subject. With HID and LED headlights and lax standards and 0 enforcement, it becomes dangerous to drive at night and straining on the eyes.
 

Avoidin Deer

Zoom Zoom, baby
Contributor
:
Central Virginia
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2019 CX-5 Reserve
All MFG's need to do this. My 9 does this for park lights only, or headlights. Not sure if that is the norm.

Apparently in Canada, by the end of 2020 or 2021 (can't recall exactly), all new vehicles must have DRL's that include rear lighting. This is good, but not sure why it took so long. My 1990 Civic had this.
Interesting.

I swear I read an article in the early 90s that said Canada already had this law because it reduces accidents by 5%. That's when I started driving with my headlights on (before the days of DRLs). Maybe they had yet to include the rear lighting.
 

Chris_Top_Her

Banned
Moderator
Contributor
:
San Antonio, Texas
:
'15 CX-5 Miata AWD
I always flip my switch. I think the people driving with drls only at night just have poor situational awareness in general. I always flash them, and when I pass turn my lights off then on. 9/10 they never turn their lights on; completely oblivious.
 
This has happened to me once or twice. I never went too far because noticed the display was too bright, which led me to notice the dash icon wasn’t on Another reason I think it’s stupid that the DRLs are the head lights are nearly full strength.

Would love to be able to switch the DRLs to be the parking lights....like most vehicles, including other Mazda’s. It would look so much better during the day. Instead of just looking like your driving around wih the headlights on. Mazda can be so close to getting things right, then just fail miserably on small(and big) things.
 

rockethead26

2019 CX-5 Reserve
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N. Arizona @ 7000'
I disabled my DRLs last week and am happy now leaving my lights in the "P" position so I have the parking lights on during the day. They auto shut off, so I don't need to mess with the lights except on the once or twice a week nighttime drive. Then I switch the lights "On" and when done, put the switch back in the "P" position. Works really well.
 
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Occupied Calif.
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2019 CX 5 GT-R
This is why I disabled the DRL's on my CX 5 and never use the auto headlights feature. If it is rainy or foggy or snowing, I simply rotate the switch on the stalk to the on position.
If it is dark out, I do the same thing. There is an indicator light on the dash that will tell you the headlights are on. This is pretty simple stuff.
I am not much of a fan of a lot of the "automatic" features on newer cars. They seem to encourage laziness and reliance on the features working perfectly in all situations. Which they don't.
It is better to know your car well and be engaged in operating it. I learned to drive when cars still had a button on the floorboard to switch the high beams on and off so maybe my methods of operating a current model car are from old habits, but I'd rather rely on my own judgement and practices and not worry about whether automatic features work the way we assume they should.
 
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2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
Remember, too that many car companies are transitioning to all-digital dashes. You really cannot have them off at any time, and they tend to be brighter during the day.
 

Pipemajor

Hoot Mon!
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Minnesota
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2017 CX-5 GT AWD
My '17 GT has full auto headlights so I don't worry about it - except when it rains. State law here says you MUST have your headlights on anytime it's raining. Most people forget. Perhaps they should tie in the auto headlight feature with activation of the windshield wipers?

I rented a '19 Toyota Forerunner and it had a headlight icon on the instrument cluster when the DRLs were on. You could also turn the DRLs completely off. It did NOT have auto headlights (and that got me into trouble). Luckily, someone honked before I figured I was running in the dark only with front DRLs on. You also have to figure out if the headlights are auto off only or fully auto on/off.

It's frustrating picking up an unfamiliar rental car - doesn't matter if it's daylight or night since the garages are pretty dark even during daylight hours. I've spent 20 minutes trying to figure where all the switches were. Even though we own a Camry, the Forerunner configuration was totally different.

I couldn't even find the door lock or power window switches! They were on the top of the window sill and not in the armrest as I'm accustomed to finding it. Really awkward and inconvenient placement.
 
I turned off my light to test in the night while driving momentarily, and the front illumination did not change, only the dash suddenly became bright. There is no way I could tell from inside if my headlights were off and just DRL were running or if both lights were on.
 
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2013 VRM Mazdaspeed3, 2016 Soul Red CX-5 GT
Maybe the easier solution is to leave it on the AUTO setting. And tell the other people using the car to leave it on the AUTO setting.

My dad kept doing the same thing in his Accord. Kept turning off the lights when he turns off the car. I told him multiple times until he learned to just leave it in AUTO.
 

Avoidin Deer

Zoom Zoom, baby
Contributor
:
Central Virginia
:
2019 CX-5 Reserve
It's frustrating picking up an unfamiliar rental car - doesn't matter if it's daylight or night since the garages are pretty dark even during daylight hours. I've spent 20 minutes trying to figure where all the switches were. Even though we own a Camry, the Forerunner configuration was totally different.

I couldn't even find the door lock or power window switches! They were on the top of the window sill and not in the armrest as I'm accustomed to finding it. Really awkward and inconvenient placement.
Oh, yeah. And for obvious reasons, they never leave the manual in the thing.

One would think there would be a cheat-sheet made of the real important stuff.
 
:
2019 Cx-5 sport
well, I just checked with my sport model and sure enough , drl are the same
as regular headlight brightness ! Didn't realize that......

So, thanks for all the posts on this forum...... learn something new all the time here.
 
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Ottawa, Ontario
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17 Mazda 6 GT
This conversation brings up the whole standardization thing when it comes to cars.
About the only commonality from one vehicle to another is the location of the gas and the brake pedal (and the clutch, if it's a manual), and of course the steering wheel.
Other than that, manufacturers pretty much layout their interiors, switches, knobs, instument panel, etc, pretty much anyway they like.
Take these DRL's we've been discussing.
Other than the fact they all have them now, every vehicle has implemented them differently.
Some are just the high beams that are on during the day, while others have maybe an LED strip somewhere up front, or maybe another one uses the parking lights, or whatever.
There is no consistency or standard.
Interior layouts are getting even worse.
Headlight switches, door lock switches, seat heater switches, wiper control, and now the transmission shift mechanism, are all different.
I got into my son's Ford Edge, and couldn't find the gear select lever.
There wasn't one.
Someone at Ford decided it was smarter to select gears using a rotary knob. Really?
Some of these companies need to give their heads a shake.
Either that, or tighter government regulations to standardize the location and design of the vehicle basics.
Like Pipemajor said: it's frustrating as hell to pick up a rental vehicle, and then having to sit in it for 20 minutes while you figure out how to turn on the wipers and lights, or how to open the freekin' door.
Drives me nuts.
 

Avoidin Deer

Zoom Zoom, baby
Contributor
:
Central Virginia
:
2019 CX-5 Reserve
Innovation can sometimes resemble chaos.

(That statement started out as a boring 3 paragraph diatribe on the evolution of automotive technology).

As a side note: You wanna talk about the unintended costs of safety innovations...air bags have caused insurance rates to increase!

What used to be a fatal accident (car insurance does not cover funeral expenses) now results in sky-high medical bills, because the vital organs get protected while the rest of the body gets mangled beyond recognition. It's not gonna affect the way I drive.
 
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2018 Mazda6 Signature
My '17 GT has full auto headlights so I don't worry about it - except when it rains. State law here says you MUST have your headlights on anytime it's raining. Most people forget. Perhaps they should tie in the auto headlight feature with activation of the windshield wipers?
That's how it works in my 2018 Mazda6. Auto-set Lights will come on automatically when the Auto-set wipers detect enough rain to make them go constantly.
 

Ronzuki

South Central PA
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2018 CX5 Touring
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w/ Pref Pkg
I'm Canadian, and this problem you folks are discussing is exactly why new regulations come into effect in Sept 2021.
Not a moment too soon either.
The big problem is the instrument panel on all modern vehicles that are lit up 24/7.
Someone above mentioned the "good old days" when the dash was dark when your lights were off.
If your instrument cluster was dark, you knew you didn't have your headlights on. Easy.
Believe it or not, and as ridiculous as it may sound on such a large purchase, your statement above was a major factor in my decision to choose the Mazda brand and CX5 over plethora of contenders.

I find the backup camera's display (another one of those gov mandated pieces of crap) extremely distracting when it illuminates at night and I'm baking in down my curved and hilly driveway. I've been using mirrors to drive backwards my entire life, and as @AvoidinDeer states, that's not going to change how I drive backwards. Until, of course, some automotive expert incorrectly deems that the tech is fail-safe and mirrors will be deleted as a cost savings measure...to compensate for the increase costs of the tech constantly be shoved in. That damn camera display lit up screws w/ my old-guy night vision whilst performing this simple, mundane and daily task. But alas more tech to allow the masses to become even less capable of operating a vehicle (or anything). And then when (not if) the tech fails, we can all sit back and laugh at the youtube videos of some idiot trying to park or back out of a parking space! How much damage and destruction (possible death?) will occur then? The perpetuating vicious cycle of tech continues...

@BUZZMAN, I couldn't agree more with your entire post! lad to see common sense prevailing. A shame it had to come to a gov mandated resolution.
 
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Ronzuki

South Central PA
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2018 CX5 Touring
:
w/ Pref Pkg
Innovation can sometimes resemble chaos.
(That statement started out as a boring 3 paragraph diatribe on the evolution of automotive technology).
I'd certainly enjoy reading it. I prefer to read 'opinions' that are well documented.

I've grown tired of the 6 word responses to everything in life. My business, a very technical business, is to the point where I ask a single technical question per email. No matter customers, suppliers other colleagues... Other wise the only question that literally gets answered is the last one. Anything in the email prior, never registers. I've read sveral studies indicating most humans today have the attention span of a gnat, and I truly believe it. The scary thing is that several of these were forwarded to me by folks in the K-12 education arena. As elluded to in many of these so-called studies, and a fundemental culprit as we all know, is the over-use of technology. Another opinion.
 
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2014 & 2019 CX-5 Touring(s)
I've grown tired of the 6 word responses to everything in life. My business, a very technical business, is to the point where I ask a single technical question per email. No matter customers, suppliers other colleagues... Other wise the only question that literally gets answered is the last one. Anything in the email prior, never registers. I've read sveral studies indicating most humans today have the attention span of a gnat, and I truly believe it.
Also technical, I find completely the opposite. Only the FIRST thing in the email gets read and answered :)
 

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