Over the years, the auto industry has made improvements to headlights, making them brighter and able to project light at greater distances. However, according to several studies released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), many headlights on today’s new vehicles received unfavorable ratings. The list of vehicles that were given either poor or marginal ratings include foreign and domestic, car and truck, as well as luxury and non-luxury.
Automakers and suppliers have taken the liberty to make the fixtures in their headlights much more detailed, with outlines that flow into quarter panels and hood lines. Most headlights have also switched from using halogen lights to LEDs, which are brighter. Unfortunately, according to IIHS, these headlights are often poorly aimed and can cause major glares, making them ineffective.
A Closer Look at Vehicle Rankings
IIHS evaluated 100 models of vehicles, and only four models received a good rating, whereas 40 models received a poor rating due to headlight issues. Only 15 models were considered for the 2018 Top Safety Pick Plus award, which is less than half the number of vehicles that qualified last year. According to Matthew Brumbelow, Senior Research Engineer at IIHS, because nearly half of all car accidents in this country occur at night, these low headlight ratings are concerning. Headlights are one of most effective tools to prevent accidents and if they are not working properly, it puts drivers and others on the road at risk.
The IIHS study on headlights is not widely known to consumers, so it is not yet clear if the insurance group’s findings are influencing consumer choices. However, according to Brumbelow, some manufacturers have responded to the poor ratings by making changes to their design or tightening up their aiming process at the factory. This is a step in the right direction.
In response to some of the problems identified by IIHS, manufacturers are using innovative technology to improve their headlights. For example, headlight-leveling can be used to re-aim headlights if the rear of the vehicle becomes weighed down. Light swiveling functions and high-beam assist are other technological advances that can improve a vehicle’s ratings. Adaptive driving beams, which are currently only available in Europe and Japan, allow high beams to light a driver’s entire path. This is a significant safety advancement, which could be the next big development in headlight technology if it becomes legal in the United States, said Brumbelow.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent All Car Accident Victims
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident involving another vehicle whose headlights were not functioning properly, contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We will thoroughly investigate the details of your case and determine who is responsible for your injuries. We will work tirelessly to obtain the maximum financial compensation you deserve, protecting your legal rights along the way. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.