Night driving is a stressful thing at the best of times. Even with the advantage of street lighting, it can still be hard to pick out other vehicles. This is made even harder when you are driving on a road that has no street lighting at all. When automobiles were first introduced to roads, some did not have any lights at all. Those that did featured very poor lights and they also required special oils and preparation before they could be used. This meant that longer journeys had to be planned well in advance with the knowledge that when it became dark, then travelling had to stop for the night.
It should also be remembered that most cars were painted black due to the anti-rust paint applied to the metal. This made it even harder for the cars to be seen. No wonder the first ones had to have someone walking in front of the car waving a red flag.
In modern times, we have Chevron Kits. These are the fluorescent triangles that you see on the sides and back of Vans. When the light from the headlamps hit them, they immediately become visible. This makes the Van stand out in the gloom of the night. Cars only need to rely on headlights and rear lights, plus the ones they have for breaking. Anything that can help keep the vehicle visible has to be a good and positive improvement.