Daytime Running Lights

HMTJ6821

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The brochure for the 2010 LaCrosse says that the daytime running lights are "switchable." I realize that in Canada on the Allure that they cannot be turned off but here in the US it is an option by the manufacturer. I cannot find any information in my owners manual regarding the technique to turn of the daytime running lights. I do have the CXS with the HID option which means that there are separate DRL lamps.

My original intent when starting this thread was to ask how many have disabled the daytime running lights?

I remember the controversy over DRLs when people were installing lights themselves. It never became a requirement in the US but did in Canada. The theory is that people about to pull out in front of you are more likely to see you coming.

So far, there appears to be absolutely no difference in accident rates between vehicles with DRLs and vehicles without DRLs. This is supported by observation that people who are planning to pull out in front of me will still do so even though it is obvious that they have seen me coming and that I will have to brake to avoid hitting them.
 

shoman90

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The brochure for the 2010 LaCrosse says that the daytime running lights are "switchable." I realize that in Canada on the Allure that they cannot be turned off but here in the US it is an option by the manufacturer. I cannot find any information in my owners manual regarding the technique to turn of the daytime running lights. I do have the CXS with the HID option which means that there are separate DRL lamps.

My original intent when starting this thread was to ask how many have disabled the daytime running lights?

I remember the controversy over DRLs when people were installing lights themselves. It never became a requirement in the US but did in Canada. The theory is that people about to pull out in front of you are more likely to see you coming.

So far, there appears to be absolutely no difference in accident rates between vehicles with DRLs and vehicles without DRLs. This is supported by observation that people who are planning to pull out in front of me will still do so even though it is obvious that they have seen me coming and that I will have to brake to avoid hitting them.

I believe you are in error on the purpose of DRLs and the accident data. They have had a positive impact on accidents worldwide.

Daytime running lights (DRLs) are a safety feature intended to reduce crashes by increasing the contrast between vehicles and the background.

I drove for a living for many years...40,000 miles per year just getting to and from work on 2 lane roads. Without a doubt the purpose listed above was extremly helpful on more occassions than I could ever count. ....and not just for side roads. Especially in the early AM and dusk hours when people foolishly turn their lights off too early ...or on too late..if at night. Some do the parking light thing....to my knowledge, that's always been illegal in MI. for low light conditions.

In fact, DRLs offered on GM vehicles was part of the reason I switched from Dodge to GM for my work pick ups in 1999.
 

HMTJ6821

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In the US, until recently, most studies showed statistically insignificant differences between DRL and non-DRL equipped vehicles for accidents, casualties, and fatalities. There is a more pronounced effect as the study site is further north.

A recent reanalysis and compilation of 24 previous studies shows only about a 10% difference in the US (reference http://www.swov.nl/rapport/r-97-36.pdf). This hardly seems significant given the earlier arguments for the added benefits to be gained. My point is that insurance companies do not seem to take into account the difference when providing coverage cost quotes -- especially for cars such as the Buick LaCrosse that supposedly enable or disable the DRL feature at will.

It is still my perception that; while DRLs provide the improved ability for viewers to note the presence, distance and speed of oncoming vehicles and especially in the peripheral vision; most people seem to ignore this added information and continue to drive right on out in front of oncoming traffic. Call me cynical if you want but that is my personal observation. Maybe the distractions now inherent in modern vehicles (i.e., cell phone, even hands free calling, navigation systems with advertisements, internet, thousands of MP3 music files, etc.) counter any positive effects to be gained from the use of DRLs.

So, if DRLs are such a positive improvement in safety, it seems inappropriate for Buick or any car company, to leave off DRLs or even provide a means of disabling them. I just thought it was odd that the Buick LaCrosse brochure, which of course focuses attention on the many safety features of the vehicle, would state that the provided DRL feature could be disabled.
 

kcrnmale

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DRL was a HUGE topic when I owned my GM made Saab (2008). Unfortunately, GM has made DRL's only disabled by the dealer and they won't do it for liability reasons.
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shoman90

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In the US, until recently, most studies showed statistically insignificant differences between DRL and non-DRL equipped vehicles for accidents, casualties, and fatalities. There is a more pronounced effect as the study site is further north.

A recent reanalysis and compilation of 24 previous studies shows only about a 10% difference in the US (reference http://www.swov.nl/rapport/r-97-36.pdf). This hardly seems significant given the earlier arguments for the added benefits to be gained. My point is that insurance companies do not seem to take into account the difference when providing coverage cost quotes -- especially for cars such as the Buick LaCrosse that supposedly enable or disable the DRL feature at will.

It is still my perception that; while DRLs provide the improved ability for viewers to note the presence, distance and speed of oncoming vehicles and especially in the peripheral vision; most people seem to ignore this added information and continue to drive right on out in front of oncoming traffic. Call me cynical if you want but that is my personal observation. Maybe the distractions now inherent in modern vehicles (i.e., cell phone, even hands free calling, navigation systems with advertisements, internet, thousands of MP3 music files, etc.) counter any positive effects to be gained from the use of DRLs.

So, if DRLs are such a positive improvement in safety, it seems inappropriate for Buick or any car company, to leave off DRLs or even provide a means of disabling them. I just thought it was odd that the Buick LaCrosse brochure, which of course focuses attention on the many safety features of the vehicle, would state that the provided DRL feature could be disabled.

It’s funny how people can look at basically the same data and come up with differing conclusions. I find a 10% reduction in accidents to be very statistically significant. The data for left hand turns shows a higher percentage.

As far as insurance companies go. There are many safety features incorporated into cars that don’t see discounts on your premium…that doesn’t mean they aren’t worthwhile. Even if there were to be a discount for DRLs…….No insurance company would offer it on a vehicle which has the ability to turn them off.

Historically, the Big 3 have been late to the game in most areas of safety improvement because of one thing….money. They don’t / didn’t want to spend it to enhance safety. Much of the safety innovations ‘standard’ on cars today were first made so in foreign models. The list is long but crumple zones would be one from long ago. My 1975 SAAB had them..and reinforced side door panels. You could drop that car on its side from 6 feet…turn it back up and drive away…..the doors still worked. I actually saw this happen on a defective garage lift. There was no insurance premium deduction for that…yet that innovation is standard in most everything on the road today and has saved 1000s of lives. Heck, the engine in that car was actually designed to drop under the car in a head on collision…..instead of into the cabin. The list of safety improvements in vehicles is long ….seat belts,steering wheel composition, padded dashes,4 wheel disc brakes/ABS(from which sprouted SC/TC…no added discount there),side and rear airbags, AFL, xenon lights, and on….. I remember getting a disc brake insurance discount years ago…no longer listed on the renewal sheet. In my last post, I mentioned that DRLs were one of the reasons I switched to GM from Dodge….4 wheel disc brakes was one of the other reasons. They were standard on the GMC truck then…….much better (safer) system than drums or drum/disc as many were then.

In another thread on this forum, someone lauded the new ‘brake assist’ feature in our cars as having saved him from hitting something. He thought it was a new GM engineered thing. Definitely a good feature, but it was standard in some foreign brands 10 years ago. Dynamic Braking is another term for it. You don’t get a discount for it, but it is absolutely a very worthwhile thing. I was trained about ‘loading’ the brakes back in 2002 at a high speed driving school. Many of these added safety features would be hard to quantify as far as accident reduction, but there can be no doubt some lives are saved every day because of them

I have no idea if DRLs have helped keep me from having an accident, but I do have some miles under my belt with no accidents…like 1.5 million +. I like to think of myself as a safe, defensive driver. I feel DRLs added a piece to the overall safety pie. I definitely know DRLs coming at me have had the desired effect. There must be something to the lights on thing as every major driving holiday that comes up, they tell you to run with your lights on. I could even use your argument about all the ‘on board’ distractions available today as negating any potential DRLs positive effects. ….To take that a step further would be to say: With no DRLs…would that cause more accidents because these distractions now have no means of being countered or neutralized by DRLs? Pretty hard to quantify any of that. Yay or nay.

When you say that it would be inappropriate for any car company to leave DRLs off…..you’re absolutely right. IMO it is inappropriate. They are mandatory in many countries…our neighbor to the north since 1989 I think I read.

Once the big 3 swallowed hard and bit into the safety apple, they have become somewhat innovative as well….which contrary to their prior belief (cost vs profit) has added to the bottom line as they continue to make a better product and gain traction again. Reasonable safety improvements helps sell cars and is good for all. DRLs fall into that category for me and have since 1999.

As a stark reminder of how far we've come in auto safety I'll end with this:

Back in the early 60s, I remember reading in Readers Digest a little story about how long it took to die in a late 50s model car if you hit a tree at 50 MPH. 7/10s of one second. That's how long it took for the steering wheel column to impale your chest as you braced for the crash gripping the hard plastic steering wheel which then shattered forward from your death grip and locked arms....allowing the steering column shaft to finish you off. As a 12 year old kid back then......I have never forgotten that story.
 

zamman

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I cannot find any information in my owners manual regarding the technique to turn of the daytime running lights.

I'm not sure if this is what you're referring to, but the DRL turn off when you turn the headlamp switch to the left. Page 5-3 in my 2010 manual.

.
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HMTJ6821

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Thank you for the many comments. Now I remember that there was an initial concern regarding the DRLs being on when you were running the car but were stationary such as at a drive-in theater. There, the DRLs would be offensive to other people in front of you. Being able to switch the DRLs off one time makes a lot more sense knowing there might be that need.

Personally, even though I do not think they make as much difference as some would expect, I would not have a vehicle without them. Any thing to make my family safer is worth it. My wife survived a head-on collision in snow and ice that I am sure she would not have had it not been for airbags and shoulder belts. Her foot bent the brake pedal arm sideways about an inch. The front of the car up to the firewall was destroyed including the brake master cylinder. The rear of the car was removed also when her car spun around. I am very blessed to have my wife still with our family.

As a matter of fact, it was I that told the story about the brake assist helping us to just bump the deer that stood in the road. I was not trying to say that it was new on the market; just that it works very well. As I understand the design, the Buick system is a dual-stage system that triggers both on the rapidity of the brake pedal application as well as the level of pressure initially applied. Being first to market is not often the most optimal design or capability.

I did find it amusing that one of the Japanese brands had advertisements in the spring of 2010 bragging that they were first to market with what Buick termed Blind Side Zone Alert. In fact, several brands introduced that feature almost simultaneously. It really does not impress me that a car brand is first to market with a feature. It impresses me when it actually works well.

When ABS first was introduced, it was one channel rear wheels only but it kept the vehicle from spinning out of control. Three channel ABS allowed for some steering capability in a panic stop on ice. As the computer capabilities increased, the stopping distance penalty for ABS became almost negligible. Four channel ABS allowed for additional features such as traction control and yaw control. All of these were ABS but the latest is MUCH more capable than the earliest introduction.

Love these discussions. Keep them coming.

Terry
 

50324lacrosse

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When will they add the feature of having all exterior lights on when the wipers are on for more that X number of seconds?
My last car with Rainsense had that and it was sure a good safety feature.

Dave
 

Godzson

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I was able to pull a fuse for the DRLs in my last car. I havent checked in the Lacrosse yet. I want to turn mine off permanently too. I just think they're ugly.
 

Thehatguy

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Looks like you can pull the fuse in the fuse panel located in the car on the drivers side. Or, you can pull the bulb in the headlamp module.

Can't tell if the BCM's(Body Control Modules) provide power for other functions besides the DRL's. Proceed at your own risk.

John







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shoman90

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Thank you for the many comments. Now I remember that there was an initial concern regarding the DRLs being on when you were running the car but were stationary such as at a drive-in theater. There, the DRLs would be offensive to other people in front of you. Being able to switch the DRLs off one time makes a lot more sense knowing there might be that need.

Personally, even though I do not think they make as much difference as some would expect, I would not have a vehicle without them. Any thing to make my family safer is worth it. My wife survived a head-on collision in snow and ice that I am sure she would not have had it not been for airbags and shoulder belts. Her foot bent the brake pedal arm sideways about an inch. The front of the car up to the firewall was destroyed including the brake master cylinder. The rear of the car was removed also when her car spun around. I am very blessed to have my wife still with our family.

As a matter of fact, it was I that told the story about the brake assist helping us to just bump the deer that stood in the road. I was not trying to say that it was new on the market; just that it works very well. As I understand the design, the Buick system is a dual-stage system that triggers both on the rapidity of the brake pedal application as well as the level of pressure initially applied. Being first to market is not often the most optimal design or capability.

I did find it amusing that one of the Japanese brands had advertisements in the spring of 2010 bragging that they were first to market with what Buick termed Blind Side Zone Alert. In fact, several brands introduced that feature almost simultaneously. It really does not impress me that a car brand is first to market with a feature. It impresses me when it actually works well.

When ABS first was introduced, it was one channel rear wheels only but it kept the vehicle from spinning out of control. Three channel ABS allowed for some steering capability in a panic stop on ice. As the computer capabilities increased, the stopping distance penalty for ABS became almost negligible. Four channel ABS allowed for additional features such as traction control and yaw control. All of these were ABS but the latest is MUCH more capable than the earliest introduction.

Love these discussions. Keep them coming.

Terry

There aren't any drive in theaters anymore are there? :) And even if there may be, I have never been bothered by any DRL either behind me, in front of me, or coming from the side. If you have to be stopped somewhere for a while...turning the car off makes more sense to me if I thought someone was offended by them. What's more offensive to me...especially as I age...is those darn Lacrosses coming at me with the HID package....like we have ;). They can be a little blinding.....even on dim as far as seeing the road clearly....much more pronounced in the rain!

Sounds like quite a crash! Glad all is well for life and limb. There's no doubt that being the first on the market is not necessarily the best. My point was that he Big 3 came kicking and screaming into the safety arena due to cost/profits (just like they had to swallow very hard to build a 'sideways' engine in the late 70s---FWD). They only came to the table after foreign brands pushed them there for the most part. ...Now the US is a player in this market coming up with some good ideas of their own. To be clear, I fully believe we had the capability and expertise to unleash engineering in this area, but that takes money and the bean counters / share holder return said nay....for a long time.

As far as the braking assist feature falling into the category of maybe the Lacrosse is better than earlier iterations....could be...I can't say for sure. Looks like Mercedes had it in 1996....that's a long time ago. Our 2002 Lexus had it as well as our 2006 Passat 4-Motion. In both those vehicles the 'loading' was pronounced if you pushed the pedal any harder than what the car thought it should be for that speed....more so than the Lacrosse system. You got hauled down in a hurry! I think the main reason such systems were developed were because of ABS.....most people don't hit the brake hard to charge all 4 wheels for ABS to take over if necessary. Brake assist systems supply that charge to all 4 corners today. For example: if you're on a snowy road and have to stop fast ....you need to mash the pedal to get all 4 wheels into ABS....if you don't, only the wheel that initially starts to lock up will go into ABS. Brake assist loads the system to do what many/most drivers may not. I had one full day of car control stuff in 2002...skid pads/wet/dry/ABS/non ABS/accident avoidance lane changes (steering wheel 1/8th turn input is all that's required for a lane change on most modern cars). It was there (Spring Mountain Race Track in NV) I learned of these things and how they worked.

I also didn't realize till now ABS has been around since the late 1920s....developed for aircraft. Cost was basically the reason it took so long to get into production cars. ABS has come a long way as you noted, but even one channel ABS was a substantial braking/safety improvement....you have to start somewhere. I have serious doubts that the US would have been the development leader in the area without competition from overseas pushing the envelope. Looks like maybe Volvo was the 1st to offer a Blind side system in production cars in 2004. Volvo and SAAB were always know to be very innovative in safety technology.

When will they add the feature of having all exterior lights on when the wipers are on for more that X number of seconds?
My last car with Rainsense had that and it was sure a good safety feature.

Dave

Our Lexus had rain sensing wipers which were also speed sensing as did our Passat. I believe the Lexus turned the lights on like you're talking about. The Lexus also had the forward radar for the cruise control automation.
 

HMTJ6821

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Re: Wipers and Lights

More expensive cars have the headlights come on when the windshield wipers are running. I think that is a good idea. Given the "network style" communication among the various electronic modules on the Buick LaCrosse, that should require only a software change, I would think.

However, marketing may make us wait for that feature so that there will be an incentive to buy up-market.
 
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Thehatguy

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No service manual. I did get a AllData subscription for the LaCrosse though.

John
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HMTJ6821

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There aren't any drive in theaters anymore are there? :) And even if there may be, I have never been bothered by any DRL either behind me, in front of me, or coming from the side. If you have to be stopped somewhere for a while...turning the car off makes more sense to me if I thought someone was offended by them. What's more offensive to me...especially as I age...is those darn Lacrosses coming at me with the HID package....like we have ;). They can be a little blinding.....even on dim as far as seeing the road clearly....much more pronounced in the rain!

Shoman90,

Here in middle Tennessee out in the country, there are three drive-in theaters still operating and quite popular within 20 miles of our place. On a cold fall day for the last show of the season, people will leave there cars running to keep the heater operating. If the DRLs cannot be turned off, the people in front of them will have the DRL light reflected off their mirrors into their eyes. Even if the mirrors are moved, there is still a significant reflection of the front windshield of the light entering from the rear.

Ain't it wonderful to observe when the new technology clashes with the old?

Terry
 

HMTJ6821

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I think the main reason such systems were developed were because of ABS.....most people don't hit the brake hard to charge all 4 wheels for ABS to take over if necessary. Brake assist systems supply that charge to all 4 corners today. For example: if you're on a snowy road and have to stop fast ....you need to mash the pedal to get all 4 wheels into ABS....if you don't, only the wheel that initially starts to lock up will go into ABS. Brake assist loads the system to do what many/most drivers may not. I had one full day of car control stuff in 2002...skid pads/wet/dry/ABS/non ABS/accident avoidance lane changes (steering wheel 1/8th turn input is all that's required for a lane change on most modern cars). It was there (Spring Mountain Race Track in NV) I learned of these things and how they worked.

Shoman90

I also had the full range of driving techniques training when I worked on the second and third generation of ABS for General Motors at the Milford, Michigan Proving Ground test track. I loved it! I broke the rear axle on one car while training for evasive maneuvering. The handling was none too good following that.

There is nothing like the freedom of being handed a car and a test track with no financial obligation to keep either in one piece.

My boss at the time came to the track to visit with me. He arrived after office hours so he took the rental car out on the six mile, high speed straight away. When he lost control and crashed the car, the people who live outside the test track heard the crash and called the state police.

The state police contacted security at the Proving Ground who found him hiding in his hotel room in a nearby city. I did not have to report to him for very long after that.

Terry
 

cheflionfoot

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When will they add the feature of having all exterior lights on when the wipers are on for more that X number of seconds?
My last car with Rainsense had that and it was sure a good safety feature.

Dave

My last GM did that, a Saturn. My 2011 LaCrosse does not have rain sensing, but the lights do automatically come on when the wipers are activated after about ten or twenty seconds.
 

shoman90

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Shoman90,

Here in middle Tennessee out in the country, there are three drive-in theaters still operating and quite popular within 20 miles of our place. On a cold fall day for the last show of the season, people will leave there cars running to keep the heater operating. If the DRLs cannot be turned off, the people in front of them will have the DRL light reflected off their mirrors into their eyes. Even if the mirrors are moved, there is still a significant reflection of the front windshield of the light entering from the rear.

Ain't it wonderful to observe when the new technology clashes with the old?

Terry

Wow!! Drive ins live! We live in a very rural area. Growing up here in the 60s, we had two drive ins…..but they have been shut down since the late 70s/early 80s. I guess the only solution is you can’t take the DRL car to the outdoor cinema in them thar parts ;) ....But wait...... at night the DRLs wouldn't be on anyway...and the headlights can be shut off no matter what. Problem solved!



Shoman90

I also had the full range of driving techniques training when I worked on the second and third generation of ABS for General Motors at the Milford, Michigan Proving Ground test track. I loved it! I broke the rear axle on one car while training for evasive maneuvering. The handling was none too good following that.

There is nothing like the freedom of being handed a car and a test track with no financial obligation to keep either in one piece.

My boss at the time came to the track to visit with me. He arrived after office hours so he took the rental car out on the six mile, high speed straight away. When he lost control and crashed the car, the people who live outside the test track heard the crash and called the state police.

The state police contacted security at the Proving Ground who found him hiding in his hotel room in a nearby city. I did not have to report to him for very long after that.

Terry
Our Lacrosse still had two addresses from Milford programmed into the nav unit when we got it. It was a GM car. GM was on the title. We have a good friend who lives on the west side of the Proving Ground….Didonato Drive…basically on Kensington road. We’ve stayed there several times over the years through our Viper connection. Before he bought the Viper, his last GM was the old ZR1. In the late 90s, he was known to have spun a donut or two with the Viper in the Proving Grounds main office parking lot. All in the spirit of good fun! I have heard many stories of the Grounds and actually seen a few things flying down that hill.

I have been on the Chelsea oval at speed and autocrossed on the “Black Lake’ over there a few different times. The guy they call Father Viper, Roy Sjoberg, was a GM engineer for 25 years before he went to DC and was Zora Duntov’s main engineer back in the day. Roy holds a few patents. Zora and Roy were also very good friends. We know Roy and have heard some dandy stories including some Zora stuff. If you were around in those days, you probably have a few more yourself! Hearing some of the old Corvette stories and knowing many of the Team who made the Viper ( and the back stories) is like having a little window into automotive history
 
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