Darting Animals, Poor Visibility and Bad Weather Top Three Nighttime Driving Concerns for American Motorists

SYLVANIA Automotive Lighting Annual Survey Outlines People's Main Fears When Driving After Dark

Oct 31, 2011, 13:18 ET from OSRAM SYLVANIA

HILLSBORO, N.H., Oct. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Our nation's forest friends make more motorists nervous when driving at night compared to any other distraction, says a recent survey commissioned by SYLVANIA, the world leader in automotive lighting.  

90 percent of licensed drivers who take to the road after dark are concerned with potential nighttime hazards. Almost half (48 percent) noted animals as their primary concern, while 42 percent indicated poor visibility and 35 percent named bad weather conditions. A much smaller amount identified car-related troubles – one in four report being concerned about breaking down at night; and less than one in five worry about getting into a car accident.

"What is very clear as a result of this survey is that most drivers have real, tangible fears associated with nighttime driving," said Joe Verbanic, Marketing Manager for SYLVANIA Automotive Lighting. "By simply upgrading to better, brighter headlight bulbs, drivers can ease many of their concerns – especially those related to darting animals, poor visibility and bad weather conditions."

The survey revealed that 55 percent of drivers said they either have never changed their headlights or don't know the last time they were changed on the vehicle they drive most often.  That can be worrisome, since headlight bulbs can dim up to 20 percent in two years – a fact more than half of drivers were unaware of. Each year they go unchanged makes night driving increasingly dangerous for drivers and passengers alike.

Premium bulbs like SilverStar® ULTRA headlights by SYLVANIA are up to 50 percent brighter than worn, standard halogen bulbs, and provide up to 50 percent increased side road visibility and 40 percent increased down road visibility – equal to about half the length of a football field in some instances.

"Since nighttime driving can't be avoided, taking simple measures like installing a new set of headlight bulbs might help minimize some of those nighttime driving fears, improve driver safety and provide greater peace of mind," said Verbanic. "We recommend checking your headlight performance once a year and replacing every two years for best performance".

The survey – conducted by Harris Interactive – also asked motorists to identify the types of drivers they are most concerned with when hitting the highway at night. More than half (55 percent) said drunk drivers, followed by distracted drivers (24 percent). Inexperienced drivers and senior citizens, most commonly stereotyped as being bad drivers, posed little concern.

Harris fielded the study on behalf of SYLVANIA from September 16 - 20, 2011, via its QuickQuery(SM) online omnibus service, interviewing 2,284 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older.  

To coincide with the onset of shorter days and longer nights, SYLVANIA offers the following tips on headlight maintenance:

  • Check your headlights by parking on a level surface facing five feet from a building wall or your garage door, then turn on your headlights. If the circles of light are bright and white, they are in good, working condition. Yellow or dim lights should be replaced.

  • Change headlight bulbs in pairs. Because bulbs dim over time, the new one will likely be brighter than the old one, causing an uneven field of illumination. This can be distracting to both the driver and to oncoming traffic.

  • If the lenses on a vehicle's headlights are cloudy, consider a headlight restoration kit, which restores headlights to like-new condition and light output. The SYLVANIA kit includes a unique UV Block Clear Coat that protects headlights from further UV damage. After use, motorists should see a significant improvement as the product enables up to three times more light to shine on the road.

For more information about the full line of headlight replacement bulbs from SYLVANIA, visit www.sylvania.com/auto. You can also download the free SYLVANIA iPhone app at the iTunes store, which makes it easy for drivers to find the correct replacement headlights, signal bulbs and almost all other auto bulbs for their car, truck, van or SUV. SYLVANIA Automotive Lighting products can be found at major automotive retail outlets. For general information on all SYLVANIA lighting, including home, commercial and auto, connect with the brand team on facebook.com/sylvania, at Twitter handle @sylvania, or at www.youtube.com/sylvanialight.

About OSRAM SYLVANIA Automotive Lighting

OSRAM SYLVANIA, together with OSRAM AG, is the world leader in automotive lighting for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and the aftermarket.  The company's global automotive lighting division has its principal North American operations in Hillsboro, N.H., with nearly 600 employees.  In addition to TS 16949, this facility has also achieved ISO 9001 and 14001 certifications.  Automotive Lighting designs, develops, manufactures and markets state-of-the-art automotive light sources, including auxiliary, advanced halogen, LED and high-intensity discharge lighting for interior, exterior and forward lighting applications.  More than 400 lamp types are produced for cars, trucks, and electronics in facilities throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia.  Automotive applications for OEMs are marketed under the OSRAM brand while products for the aftermarket are sold under the SYLVANIA brand.


OSRAM SYLVANIA is a leader in lighting solutions and services, specializing in innovative design and energy saving technology. The company sells products for homes, businesses and vehicles primarily under the SYLVANIA brand name, and also under the OSRAM brand. Headquartered in Danvers, Mass., OSRAM SYLVANIA is the North American operation of OSRAM AG, a wholly owned subsidiary of Siemens AG. For more information, visit www.sylvania.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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