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Have You Checked Your Headlights Lately?

Headlights are very useful. They not only allow you to see what’s in front of you in low-light situations, but they allow other drivers to see your vehicle more clearly. It’s fair to say that headlights are an essential part of your vehicle. Not only are they useful at night, but during the day as well. Unfortunately, your headlights might not be serving you as well as they could be.

Headlight Quality

Just over a year ago, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released a report outlining their research on automobile headlights. The organization put 31 different vehicles through a series of tests, concentrating on headlights. The result of the study was that most headlights do not perform as well as vehicle owners believe they do.

The group looked at the configurations available on multiple 2016-model vehicles. There were a total of 82 ratings featuring headlights. The types of lights in the study included halogen, high-intensity discharge and LEDs. Adaptive headlights were studied as well as automatic and high-beam assist headlights.

The Outcome

A single vehicle, the Toyota Prius V, earned a rating of good. The vehicle is equipped with LED lights. It also has high-beam assist. The researchers found that the vehicle could travel at 70 mph and still have enough time to stop when an obstacle was seen. The Prius V with halogen lights only had enough time to stop at 50 mph.

Despite the one good rating, 44 configurations received a poor rating. The worst? The BMW 3 series that had halogen lights installed. A driver would have to be moving at speeds of 35 mph to have enough time to come to a complete stop once an obstacle became visible in its headlights.

What Was Learned

There were several valuable lessons for consumers discovered in this study. One is that paying the price for a luxury vehicle doesn’t mean that you are getting better headlights. In fact, some of the worst headlights were found on these vehicles. In other cases, the vehicle provided glare that made it dangerous for other vehicles on the road. Lastly, new technology isn’t necessarily better than old. The Honda Accord with halogen headlights fared better than the model with LED lights, for example.

There are no laws or regulations that dictate the quality of headlights. Manufacturers must take it upon themselves to improve headlights on their own. As a consumer, taking a test drive after the sun goes down may be the best way to determine if the headlights on your soon-to-be vehicle are up to par.

If you are involved in a vehicle collision in Charlotte or the surrounding area, reach out to our team of car accident attorneys. We will review the details of the crash and advise you of the legal options you have. Call now to schedule an appointment for your free case evaluation and let us assist you in securing the compensation you may be entitled to.

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