Is Canada's New Automatic Headlight Rule Coming to the US?

Hannah DeWitt
· 3 min read
Most of us in America have encountered
headlights that are too bright
. But Canada seems to have the opposite problem: drivers who aren't turning on their headlights.
People forgetting to turn on their headlights at night have become a pertinent
road safety
issue in Canada. A vehicle headlight regulation that was announced a few years ago will go into full effect soon to help curb this problem.
Transport Canada, the regulatory body that oversees Canadian automotive laws, will be enforcing three new rules that affect car manufacturers. Here is what you need to know about the new regulations and some speculation on whether similar rules will make their way south.
Canada has had issues with motorists driving without their headlights on.

What are Canada's new automatic headlight rules?

According to
Car and Driver
, the first of Canada’s regulations deals with taillights. All new cars must automatically turn on taillights when daytime running lights are engaged. This will help mitigate any confusion drivers might have as to whether the taillights are on or not while their headlights are activated.
Headlights, taillights, and side marker lights must also turn on automatically when it's dark outside. Many carmakers already incorporate this function into their vehicles, but making it standard practice will ensure every car has these features.
Lastly, all dash lights must be dark when the headlights are off. This will make it easier for drivers to realize when their headlights aren’t turned on.
These new rules will likely put some extra stress on carmakers, but the precautions will give drivers less to worry about on the road. The regulations aren't limited to just cars but will include trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, and heavy trucks as well.
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Will these rules be coming to the U.S.?

These new rules are unlikely to find their way to the U.S. In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that daytime lights had minimal effect on traffic safety in most cases. Since then, there haven't been any serious proposals to bring similar regulations to the United States.
However, some brands already have these features built in. GM’s Cadillacs, Buicks, Oldsmosbiles, and Pontiacs have had automatic headlight functions like dimmers since the 1950s.
GM later created light-sensing technology that could turn headlights on or off automatically depending on how dark it was outside. Adaptive headlights are just one safety feature that American carmakers offer without regulatory pressure.

Other car safety tech to look for

Technology to enhance visibility for cars has become very common in the past decade. You’ll want to look out for some of these features when you’re shopping for a new car. Rearview cameras are the norm on modern vehicles, as well as blind spot monitors.
Collision avoidance features are also standard on most new vehicles. This includes forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, which stops your vehicle when the car senses a potential hazard.
All these newer safety features are great for peace of mind, but you’ll still need adequate car insurance coverage.
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