The results were disappointing and frightening. Even though, according to IIHS, the least acceptable low beam should provide the driver with light for at least 330 feet in front of the vehicle, only the Toyota Prius v could project over 350 feet, earning the best rating. Certain luxury cars (such as the BMW 3 Series) could only project 130 feet.
What dangers do poor performing headlights pose?
So, why do these results matter? For starters, the further your headlights’ projected illumination, the further you can see the road in front of you while driving, therefore giving you more notice of an obstruction. When driving at high speeds, an extra few seconds to swerve out of harm’s way can be the critical distinction between life and death.
Similarly, as the glare from most headlights can temporarily blind oncoming drivers, the reduction of this glare will increase safety for everyone on the road.
Almost half of all traffic deaths occur when light is limited, such as late into the evening and before sunrise. Vehicle headlights are crucial to visibility at these hours. It is clear that if manufacturers improved headlights across the board on all vehicles, traffic fatalities that occur at these hours would decrease.
What would it take to fix this problem?
According to IIHS, not much. Better headlights are an easy, inexpensive fix. After IIHS released the results of this report, BMW stated it was disappointed with the results of the IIHS headlight test of the BMW 3 series.
It is our hope that the poor results of this test will lead car manufacturers to producing standard vehicles with better quality headlights.
What can I do to promote pedestrian and bicyclist safety?
The percentage of pedestrians involved in traffic fatalities has steadily increased in recent years. To combat this problem, drivers must be focused at all times, follow all driving laws and stop at every crosswalk to look twice for a pedestrian or bicyclist.
Pedestrians can also take steps to promote their own safety, such as wearing bright clothes to improve their visibility at night.
Unfortunately, even when pedestrians and drivers do their best to keep everyone safe, accidents happen. If you or a loved one was hurt in an accident, contact the Office of Jason R. Schultz P.C. to discuss your legal options: 404-474-0804.