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Inadequate Headlight Illumination

The result from a report by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) has shown that headlights of many vehicles did not perform as well as expected. The IIHS is well known for crash-testing vehicles to evaluate how well passengers are protected in a collision. Headlight illuminations of 31 new 2016 midsized vehicles from various models were tested at dusk and night. According to the IIHS nearly 50 percent of all accidents occur during this time period. Overall 82 different headlight configurations were tested and more than half of the variations received a “poor” rating at best.

Headlight illumination is evaluated by a special device that measures light from both low and high beams. The vehicles were tested on an IIHS enclosed track under five different conditions: traveling straight, sharp left curve, sharp right turn, gradual left curve, and gradual right curve. IIHS engineers compared the tested vehicle’s light measurements to their ideal low beam illumination of at least 330 feet straightway.

There are government regulations on the amount of light a headlight bulb needs to release, but there isn’t a standard for how far it must reach. “Many headlight problems could be fixed with better aim, says IIHS Senior Research Engineer Matthew Brumbelow. This is simple enough to adjust on many vehicles, but the burden shouldn’t fall on the consumer to figure out what the best aim is. Manufactures need to pay attention to this issue to make sure headlights are aimed consistently and correctly at the factory.”

If you or someone you know has been injured or killed by a defective vehicle, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 800-594-4884.

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