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Drivers tend to take their headlights for granted. If the lights work, they concentrate on other components, such as the amount of gas in the tank or the squeak they hear from the brakes. Yet, headlights are a critical safety feature in vehicles and are starting to get more press. Unfortunately, American headlight technology remains woefully behind headlight advancements helping people in most of the developed world.
Every driver has experienced the problem of not having adequate light while traveling on a winding road or cruising in bad weather, especially after dusk when most crashes occur. The issue is often that the headlights are not properly aimed at objects on the roadway. Instead, they may be too high, too low, or off to the side. Even a subtle headlight misalignment can lead a driver to see something when it is too late. Yet, even when they are installed properly, headlights might not provide enough protection. For instance, a truck with a heavy load can cause the headlights to aim too high despite being in the right place.
One method to make headlights safer is with adaptive driving beam (ADBs) lights and technology. Already used in vehicles around the globe, ADB lights consist of LED lights, which offer brightness without glare. Because they adapt to any circumstance, they effortlessly switch to and from high beams. They can also adjust to intuitively land on obstacles or items, not to mention away from other drivers’ eyes.
In practice, ADB lights quickly detect when something should be more illuminated. Best of all, LED lights are likely to last for years, taking away worries regarding the cost of light replacements. Plus, adding lasers to ADB light beams could improve their range substantially. However, American regulations necessitate that all vehicles have low-beam and high-beam systems that work independently of one another. Consequently, ADB lights are prohibited despite having proponents.
Although various vehicle-related entities agree that headlights are a concern, organizations have been slow to promote new regulations. To be sure, some manufacturers offer high-beam assist and curve-adaptive lights on certain models. Still, testing on a variety of 2019 vehicle models indicated that only 14 percent offered good headlight results. This means that the United States may be years away from making the roads safer.
If you were the victim of a collision caused in part or entirely by malfunctioning or inadequate headlights, the Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow welcome the chance to discuss your case, rights, and options. Call our team at 302-427-9500 or complete an online form to set up a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Milford, and Bear, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.