5 Things You Need to Know About Your Vehicle’s Headlights
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released its very first headlight ratings for 31 mid-size vehicles, all 2016 models. The findings revealed that most headlights offer drivers poor visibility at night, increasing the risk of car accidents at night, dusk, and dawn.
82 Headlights Tested
Although only 31 mid-size cars were tested, there were a total of 82 headlights tested. Vehicles offer different kinds of headlights, so the study accounted for all of the possible headlights the 31 cars provide.
Only 1 Vehicle Earned a Good Score
The Toyota Prius V, 1 of 31 mid-size cars tested, has headlights that earned a good rating. The vehicle has LED lights and high-beam assist. The high-beam assist automatically adjusts the headlights based on the current road condition (the distance of oncoming traffic). This means that the driver will always have the best light available.
However, the headlights that earned a good rating are part of the advanced technology package, available only on the highest trim level (the most expensive option for the Toyota Prius V). The Toyota Prius V vehicles with standard halogen lights and without high-beam assist earned a poor rating.
How Does Your Mid-Size Compare?
The IIHS provides a full list of the vehicles they tested and how their headlights rated.
Here’s how some of the most popular vehicles’ headlights rated:
- Audi A3
- Honda Accord 4-Door
- Lexus ES & IS
- Mazda 6
- Nissan Maxima
- Volkswagen Jetta
- Volvo S60
- Acura TLX
- BMW 2 & 3 Series
- Ford Fusion
- Lincoln MKZ
- Subaru Legacy
- Toyota Camry
- Buick Verano
- Cadillac ATS
- Chevrolet Malibu & Malibu Limited
- Hyundai Sonata
- Kia Optima
- Mercedes-Benz C-Class & CLA
- Nissan Altima
- Volkswagen Passat
Types of Headlights
There are 3 main types of headlights including LED, halogen, and xenon.
LED headlights have the coolest color temperature, making them appear whiter than daylight. These lights offer the best light return from road signs.
Xenon (HID) headlights have the second coolest color temperature and offer the best illumination of the sides of the road. However, a big disadvantage is the glare these lights produce, harming the vision of oncoming drivers.
Halogen headlights are cost effective for manufacturers. They generally display a yellow glow directly in front of the vehicle. The actual bulbs can be made in different sizes and can be installed in many different vehicles. These lights don’t provide the brightness or reach that the other headlights offer drivers.
It’s important to maintain your headlights and keep them clear to provide yourself with the best visibility at night. Headlights can become cloudy from exposure to the elements, but cloudiness could also indicate that your headlights may have cracks or aren’t sealed properly.
There are many products available and techniques to help you clean your headlights. For expert care, take your vehicle to the dealership and have your headlights professionally assessed and repaired if needed.
If you’ve noticed that your headlights don’t provide you with the best visibility at night, talk to the dealership or an automobile expert. An effective way to reduce your risk of being involved in an accident at night is to have the best visibility on the road.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact the Colley & Colley law firm in Tyler, Texas for a free consultation. We’re dedicated to providing you with the best legal counsel in East Texas.