Many people assume that the headlights that come with their car are the right headlights. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Depending on the make and trim of a vehicle, the manufacturer may have just chosen the included headlights to save money. Read on to learn about the headlight recommendations of the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) and contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 if you have been injured in a car accident.
Headlight Ratings Are Relatively New
The IIHS has only been releasing ratings for headlights since 2016. The first year they looked at 80 different types of headlight systems, which were available across 31 models of midsized cars. Of those 80 systems, only one of them got a good rating. By March of 2019, nearly 15% of headlight systems that were tested received a good warning. More than 50% were rated either poor or marginal due to excessive glare to oncoming drivers, inadequate visibility, or both.
Why the IIHS Evaluated Headlights
The IIHS began looking at headlights for a few simple reasons. First, consider that under perfect conditions, the average driver takes 1 ½ seconds to respond to a surprise event. If they are driving at 55 miles per hour, that 1 ½ seconds can take them 120 feet. When a driver hits the brakes at that speed, it takes them about 144 to stop. This is nearly 300 feet a vehicle can travel before it can be stopped.
Now think about the fact that when the low beams of a headlight system are poor, they do not provide the driver with enough light to stop when they are driving 55 miles per hour on a straight road. Then consider that they provide even poorer vision when on a curve and it is easy to see that headlights are important in fact.
Glare is a Common Issue as Well
The IIHS has also reported that glare is a common issue with headlights. In some cases this is not due to the wrong headlights being installed but rather that the headlights are not installed correctly. When they are installed correctly they should illuminate the road but not get into the eyes of oncoming drivers. If they are not, then they can cause poor visibility and excessive glare for the other drivers on the road.
There Are Government Headlight Regulations
While the government does have federal regulations relating to headlights, ones that pass are not necessarily always giving the same on-road performance. The government's standard allows a very large range of acceptable intensities and angles with large adjustment tolerances.
If you are injured in a car accident and believe another party was at fault, contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you with your case.