SYLVANIA Automotive

Survey Shows U.S. Drivers Understand How to Improve Visibility on the Road, but Aren’t Taking Action

New data from SYLVANIA Automotive illustrates the need for more education and awareness on the importance of headlight maintenance

11.03.2017 | Special Topic

Hillsboro, NH – A new survey released today from SYLVANIA Automotive, the leader in automotive lighting solutions for the automotive aftermarket and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), found that drivers are aware that headlights dim and wear over time, but most of those drivers do not take steps to proactively maintain their vehicle’s headlights.

According to the survey, seven in 10 (71 percent) drivers agree that headlights dim over time and nine in 10 (90 percent) say that properly aimed headlights can make a big difference in road visibility. However, the same survey found:

  • More than half of drivers only replace headlights individually, as needed, even though the other bulb is probably the same age and worn/dim
  • Nearly one-third of drivers have never changed their headlights or had them replaced by someone else
  • Only four in 10 drivers have ever aimed or had their headlights aimed

As the end of Daylight Saving Time nears, SYLVANIA Automotive is reminding drivers about the importance of headlight maintenance. Headlights dim over time, making them less effective for down-road visibility. Also, if a driver replaces one headlight at a time, the light output will be uneven, meaning one headlight is brighter than the other. Both dim headlights and driving with headlights that provide uneven output can severely impact a driver’s ability to see down the road, ultimately affecting the time they have to react to obstacles. It can also be a distraction to other drivers, and has the potential to negatively impact their visibility.

“It’s critical that drivers move from awareness to action by prioritizing vehicle safety and staying on top of headlight maintenance to ensure safety on the road,” said Craig Landcastle, Product Engineering Manager, SYLVANIA Automotive. “Headlights wear out and dim over time, so if drivers can’t remember the last time they were changed, now is probably a good time to consider a replacement. For optimal visibility, drivers should be sure to swap out headlights in pairs and they should do this proactively, before they burn out.”

Conducted by Survey Monkey on behalf of SYLVANIA Automotive, the survey findings also indicate that nearly three quarters (73.8 percent) of U.S. drivers are concerned about driving at night. In fact, more than half (54 percent) of drivers will avoid driving at night due to visibility-related issues including difficulty seeing other drivers and hazards, concern/lack of trust of other drivers, and fear of accidents; and more than 37 percent of drivers have gone so far as to change their plans to avoid driving at night.

Other notable statistics from this year’s survey include:

  • Nearly 60 percent of drivers surveyed said that at least half of the time spent in their vehicle is during evening or early morning hours
  • Nearly 75 percent of drivers strongly agree that when it is time to replace headlights, they would be willing to pay more for whiter and brighter headlights to help them see farther down the road and improve clarity while driving at night
  • More than 80 percent of drivers agree that the benefits of better downroad performing headlights are worth the initial investment

For premium safety during nighttime driving, the SYLVANIA SilverStar® family of automotive lighting includes a variety of high performance headlights to suit individual needs and driving styles. SYLVANIA SilverStar® ULTRA headlights offer the farthest downroad light in the company’s product suite and are designed with a whiter light which improves contrast of objects on or near the road. Together, these features enable motorists to see farther down the road, with increased side road and peripheral visibility.

To find out which bulb best fits any vehicle, check out the SYLVANIA Bulb Replacement Guide, here. For more information on the SYLVANIA Automotive survey, or for further details on SYLVANIA SilverStar® headlights, please visit

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Press Contacts

Press Contacts

Sofia Giovannello
Matter for SYLVANIA Automotive

Research Methodology

Survey Monkey conducted this research in April 2017, via an online survey of 1,049 licensed drivers in the U.S., ages of 18-75+.

About OSRAM SYLVANIA Automotive Lighting

OSRAM SYLVANIA, together with OSRAM GmbH, 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, based in Munich, is a globally leading lighting manufacturer with a history dating back about 100 years. The product portfolio includes high-tech applications based on semiconductor technology such as infrared or laser lighting. The products are used in highly diverse applications ranging from virtual reality, autonomous driving or mobile phones to smart and connected lighting solutions in buildings and cities. In automotive lighting, the company is the global market and technology leader. Based on continuing operations (excluding Ledvance), OSRAM had around 24,600 employees worldwide at the end of fiscal 2016 (September 30) and generated revenue of almost €3.8 billion in that fiscal year. The company is listed on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt and Munich (ISIN: DE000LED4000; WKN: LED400; trading symbol: OSR). Additional information can be found at