A recent study of headlight safety conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that the majority of cars on the road today have unsafe levels of illumination from their headlights. Thirty-one cars, including Mercedes Benz C-Class and BMW3, were tested and ranked for safety based on their headlights’ amount of illumination and levels of glare for drivers of oncoming vehicles. Topping the list for headlight safety was the Toyota Prius that was the only car that received the study’s highest ranking. On the bottom of the list was the BMW3 that had the lowest ranking of all the cars studied.
The IIHS study was the first of its kind and stemmed from the statistical averages that most car accidents occur at night or in the early morning hours of dusk, thus indicating that headlights provide visibility, which is key in avoiding collisions. The study compared the new LED and high intensity discharge lamps that are being used on new vehicles instead of halogen lamps, which are the current standard. Many car manufacturers are also offering curve adaptive headlights on their new model cars that are programmed to turn in the direction of the car to offer enhanced illumination. High beam assist features are also new to the market. These headlights sense changes in the environment and automatically switch between low beams and high beams when oncoming traffic is detected. As enticing as these new features are, the study revealed that technology isn’t necessarily improving safety.
The federal government currently regulates the standards for how bright headlights should be, but there are no current standards on the distance the lights should extend. The IIHS set a distance of 330 feet in the study as the standard for safe illumination. The Toyota Prius was the only vehicle that met that standard of safety. The BMW3 measured a projection of only 130 feet.
The overall findings of the IIHS study indicate that more research is needed and new regulations established for headlight illumination and projection to increase the safety of cars on the road and avoid collisions that happen due to poor visibility.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an automobile accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP represent victims injured in automobile accidents and are committed to helping them claim the maximum compensation they are entitled to receive. Call us at 1-800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia, Reading, and Bethlehem allowing us to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.