Are Headlights Getting Brighter?
While you may not give your automobiles headlights much thought they play an integral role in transportation safety. The next time you’re driving at night and someone’s high beams pierce your eyeballs you might just take notice! When someone else’s lights shine brightly in your direction it can create a glare —is a serious issue.
In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, points out in a recent proposed rule regarding headlights that they have gotten “thousands of consumer complaints” about the problem.
Robert Sinclair Jr., with AAA Northeast, said car makers are making headlights brighter in part so that drivers can see better in low-light conditions. With the popularity of SUVs on a continuous rise, it doesn’t help either. SUVs have a higher ride height, distributing the light of oncoming vehicles directly into your line of vision.
More and more drivers have been complaining about night driving. The lights from oncoming traffic can become very distracting and because it needs to scatter on the retina.
Federal regulations limit headlight brightness, but it’s not easy to enforce. According to AAA, headlights may not be getting any dimmer any time soon. Instead, companies are now working to alter how the light is diffused. The color of headlights is changing, too. While all of them must be considered white, different bulb types have various hues. Halogens are more yellow, while newer high-intensity discharge bulbs and LEDs skew more towards the white and even slightly blue range. Headlights with a different color and same brightness may appear to be more glaring because they look novel. It simply boils down to a perception issue.
Late last year, the NHTSA submitted a notice of proposed rulemaking that would allow for adaptive driving beam systems on U.S. roads.
Adaptive beams are a type of front-lighting system that lets upper beam headlamps adapt their beam patterns to create shaded areas around oncoming and preceding vehicles to improve long-range visibility for the driver without causing discomfort, distraction, or glare to other road users.
Ultimately, adaptive driving beam technology could be a ray of hope for everyone who gets behind the wheel at night.
In the meantime, you can buy and use special clear glasses, even if you don’t need prescription lenses. These glasses have a coating on the lens to absorb ultra violet light and prevent glare when driving at night.
Other preventive measures include keeping your windshield clean; the dirt will cause light to refract, making it harder to see where you’re going, and ensuring your autos headlights are adjusted correctly.
Let our team of skilled auto collision representatives and certified technicians put you at ease by providing you with the tools and information you need. Call 973.777.7115 to speak to a member of our team Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm or Saturday 8am-12pm.