A new report from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety has found that there is a problem with the state of headlights in the United States. Whether because of inadequate headlights or headlights that are misaligned and improperly maintained, the IIHS found that millions of Americans do not have adequate headlights on their vehicles. In an article in USA Today, the implications of these findings were explored. Headlights are an important safety feature and prove invaluable in safely navigating various danger zones, but for drivers with inadequate lighting, they may not realize just how critical they are.
"It's easy to recognize the problems if you've been on the wrong end of a bright headlight aimed at your eyes, but harder for people driving cars with misaligned headlights or those with cloudy, fogged over lenses. They don't know what they're missing until they're literally blindsided by an unexpected curve, construction zone or other obstacle their lights don't illuminate."
While the findings by IIHS are startling, the problem is being tackled by... albeit not at the speed that drivers and safety organizations may wish. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is in the process of establishing rules for the use of ADB lights, or adaptive driving beam lights. These lights represent a significant improvement in headlight technology, with features like an array of many LED lights and systems that direct light away from things that can refract light (like other drivers' eyes) onto things like street signs or potential hazards on the side of the road.
The question, as posed by USA Today, is how soon these new and better headlights will be available. If the findings by IIHS are any indication, this is an urgent question that requires immediate attention. Hopefully it gets it.
For more on the findings by IIHS and the solutions in the pipeline, read the article on USA Today.