General Motors estimates that daytime running lights have prevented 37,000 crashes since 1995, many of which would have involved pedestrians, USA Today reports.
The lower-intensity headlights illuminate when a vehicle is turned on. They make it easier for other drivers and pedestrians to see vehicles, particularly in fog, rain, dusk and bright sunlight.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reviewing a 2001 GM petition asking that the agency require the lights on all vehicles.
Agency spokesman Tim Hurd says NHTSA also is updating a June 2000 study it did on the effectiveness of running lights. That study, which used crash data from four states, credited the lights with a 7% reduction in non-fatal crashes and a 28% cut in pedestrian fatalities. NHTSA compared the crash experience of vehicles equipped with daytime running lights with that of vehicles without the lights to determine the numbers.