Ford, the world’s leading automobile manufacturer, is developing advanced lighting technology that would enable drivers to see more easily potential hazards, including pedestrians, cyclists and animals, while driving at night.
Driving at night can be a nerve-wracking exercise, especially on unlit roads. While cities have sufficient ambient night-lighting, inner roads and desert highways often pose a challenge to drivers in the Gulf region, where blinding headlights from vehicles coming in the opposite direction could lead to accidents.
Among the hazards include camel crossings along desert roads, the danger accentuated when drivers are at high speeds on the highways. The automotive industry is making concerted efforts to address poor ambient lighting through improvements in the vehicles to enhance safety concerns due to poor lighting.
Another important consideration on the need for effective lighting to promote road safety is fog. In a shocking finding by a poll conducted by an online portal in the UAE, it was reported that at least 8% of the drivers who took part were unaware of where fog lights were in their car or how to switch them on. Another 19% said they use hazard lights over fog lights on days of poor visibility, while 10% of the drivers were reluctant to use fog lights though they know of it, relying instead on their eyesight.
More awareness on fog lights is crucial given that one a single day in October 2015, 88 accidents were reported in Dubai due to fog between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. Dubai police said that they received 859 calls to their operations room during the period.
(Read the full article in the December issue of Safety Messenger Magazine 2015)