Have you driven in the dark lately and felt that your eyes were strained from the experience? It may be that your eyes are perfectly fine and the blame should be placed on your car’s headlights instead.
There’s a real possibility that the headlights on your car are not as effective as you’d expect. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently conducted a study analyzing the safety of headlight systems on new cars. An IIHS study found that not only were many of the headlights on new vehicles only base level acceptable systems, many were rated marginal or poor.
The IIHS Research Center conducted extensive research on the quality of headlights on 31 of the 2016 midsize models. The senior research engineer for the IIHS analyzed many real world motor vehicle accidents to develop a rubric to apply to the study.
This is the first time the IIHS has conducted a study to gauge the effectiveness of headlights. The necessity of your headlights while driving at night is obvious, and this safety study couldn’t have been released at a better time. The team of researchers at IIHS used a special device which measures the light emitted from both the high and low beams while the car is being driven. Cars were driven in five approaches for the study – straight, sharp left, sharp right, gradual left, and gradual right. When analyzing the final data, low beams were weighed heavily because most drivers seldom use their high beams. Also, straight roadways were weighed heavier because more accidents happen when driving on straight roads.
It was discovered that a vast majority of the subpar headlights were installed on vehicles classified as luxury automobiles. Headlights are imperative for safe nighttime driving, and they are also indispensable for safe driving during inclement weather. Besides making nighttime driving possible, headlights and taillights also help illuminate your car to be seen by other drivers at night. The IIHS found that roughly half of motor vehicle accidents occurred during dark, dawn, or dusk conditions, which would reasonably lead to the conclusion that better headlights could save many lives.
Improper illumination makes it impossible for drivers to see smaller details on roadways. Potholes, road impediments, and other hazards can easily cause a loss of vehicle control when driving at accelerated speeds. Also, the IIHS study found that subpar lighting systems increase the glare reflected back at drivers in addition to providing inadequate illumination. Another danger of poor quality headlights is that poor illumination makes it impossible to see obstacles that could be in the road until it’s too late. In poor lighting, dangerous roadway obstacles are only visible once they are within a few feet of your car. When your car is outfitted with proper headlights and visibility, you are able to see any obstacles within plenty of time to avert an accident.
Being injured in a motor vehicle accident causes an immense amount of undue stress and hardship on an individual and their family. Regardless of the type of vehicle you were operating, contact The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe should you conclude your accident has left you in need of legal representation. If you think your car’s inadequate headlights were a contributing factor in your accident, then you should contact the auto accident attorneys at The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLC, in Long Island, New York, to discuss the legal support and solutions we can provide in your motor vehicle accident lawsuit.