Dashboard indicators tell us when vehicles need routine maintenance – time to change the oil, check tire pressure and so on. Headlights? If they turn on, everything is OK, right? Far from it, according to new research by AAA.
“Walk through any parking lot and it is evident that deteriorated headlights are a problem for most vehicle owners,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations.
The facts are illuminating – and dangerous
Clouded or yellowed headlights are caused by sunlight damage to their protective plastic coating. When AAA tested two popular sedans, each about 11 years old, it found that deteriorated headlights, when used on low beam, provided just 22 percent of the light they were supposed to as compared to new headlights. AAA also reports headlights can begin showing signs of deterioration in as little as three years.
“Driving at night with headlights that produce only 20 percent of the light they did when new, which is already subpar, is a risk drivers shouldn’t take,” Brannon said.
Further, previous AAA research has shown U.S. headlights in general are inadequate. The best headlights provide illumination for just 40 percent of sight distances when compared to full daylight.
This can be especially problematic during the winter months when the days are short, and drivers spend more time in the dark.
Protect yourself before and after an accident
AAA recommends that drivers check headlights for changes in appearance, including yellowing and clouding. If the bulb is difficult to see, have the lenses replaced or restored as soon as possible.
Even if you take extra precautions, though, not everyone is so careful. You could become involved in an accident caused by someone driving a vehicle with inadequate headlights. You could be injured and unable to work as your bills pile up. An insurance company will try to take advantage of your desperation by making a low-ball financial offer that is far less than you deserve.
Auto accident attorney Jeremy Vishno has more than 25 years of experience handling cases just like yours in Fairfield County and throughout Connecticut, with offices in Fairfield and New Haven. As someone who routinely goes above and beyond for his clients, attorney Vishno will investigate your accident, checking every angle to protect your rights and to secure a fair financial settlement. Contact us for a free case consultation today.