Are the headlights on your vehicle good enough?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety claims that headlights on one-third of midsize vehicles aren't good enough. It further claims that just one car, the Toyota Prius, has headlights that are good enough to receive a "good rating" -- but only if the Prius gets an optional upgrade.

The IIHS says that these vehicles meet U.S. standards, but that the standards need to be elevated. The IIHS projects that if the standards were tightened, then U.S. traffic accident deaths would be reduced and overall driving safety would be improved.

This study by the IIHS looked at midsize cars to test whether they sufficiently illuminate the roadway ahead of them. It also checked whether the headlights made a lot of glare for vehicles coming toward them. Typically, IIHS tests have an effect on car design -- especially because these tests can affect consumer purchasing trends. As such, even if the government does not tighten its headlight standards, perhaps automakers will take notice and adjust their vehicles accordingly.

Out of the midsize cars that the IIHS examined, 11 received a grade of "acceptable." These acceptable ratings included the Honda Accord, Audi A3 and Nissan Maxima. Meanwhile, nine were "marginal," and 10 were "poor." The Prius V is the only one that -- when it is given the available option of LED headlights -- received the grade of "good."

The results of the IIHS headlight tests will hopefully prompt lawmakers and automakers to take heed. While the federal government considers passing laws that require all vehicles to be equipped with high level communications technologies to support the new era of self-driving vehicles, perhaps a much simpler adjustment to headlight standards would be easier to implement and also effective at preventing fatal accidents.

Meanwhile, Bradley, Tennessee, residents might be surprised to know how many car accidents are the result of the driver operating a car with damaged headlights or headlights that are not illuminated. In car accidents from damaged headlights, the victims of the car accidents will have strong claims to see financial restitution in court.

Source: Chancey Kanavos Love & Painter, "Cleveland Car Accident Attorneys," accessed Jan. 06, 2017

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