Right, the light washes out the vehicle in comparison to the background. Whether the light is sufficient to <strong>completely</strong> hide the vehicle is irrelevant; DRLs will make it harder to see.
That said, an oncoming vehicle with headlights lit and sun reflecting off the windshield driving on a reflective concrete surface is entirely flooded with light.
Object recognition would apply as well, but I believe visual acuity is also an appropriate term. It is in the usage I can find, such as;
If you have proof of the effectiveness of DRLs, I'd like to see it. There exist statistics which indicate a reduction in accident rates for DRL-equipped cars in Canada and various Scandanavian countries, but that is far from proof.
Even if the accident rate for DRL-equipped cars is lower, that does not make them scale well. If cars painted with zebra-stripes had a lower accident rate, do you think that would stand up to having all cars painted that way?
Or did they accident rate drop simply because those cars are different?
All of the studies I have seen were conducted in countries with a fraction of the traffic-density of most US cities and most also ignore the scaling issue.
( A review of 30 years of poor science concluding that there is still no proof that DRLs are effective. )
If you can prove DRLs are effective, please do; it'll save me from messing with the wiring on my Legacy.