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Bad Headlights Cause Car Accidents.

The Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation lawyers and staff at the Schmidt-Salita Law Team have decades of experience in handling motor vehicle collisions of all types, including automobile crashes, trucking collisions, motorcycle collisions, and car-pedestrian injuries. That experience and knowledge can bring value to the clients of the Schmidt-Salita Law Firm.

The Schmidt-Salita Law Team directs your attention to the following facts about headlight safety.

Maximum Headlight Efficiency is Important to Safe Nighttime Driving.

Driver visibility is always important to driver safety. Death rates are three times greater in night time driving conditions.

Most human beings lose the advantage of color and contrast that is available and helpful to safe driving during daytime hours. Depth perception and peripheral vision are also reduced during night time driving conditions. These limitations are even worse during bad weather conditions, whether rain, snow or sleet.

It takes approximately 1.5 seconds for a driver to react to an unexpected event in traffic, even under ideal circumstances. At 55 miles an hour a car travels approximately 120 feet. Once the driver applies the brakes, it takes more than 944 feet to stop at that speed. That means, at best, the driver of a typical vehicle will need 264 feet to bring the vehicle to a stop assuming normal roadway conditions. Under rainy, snowy, or icy roadway conditions, the stopping distance can be much longer.

Accordingly, the ability of a driver to see a problem on the roadway in the nighttime depends on headlight efficiency. Experts tell us that more than 80% of driving safety depends on the driver’s vision ability. In night time driving conditions, the driver’s vision ability depends on headlight efficiency. One study showed that 60 percent of all auto accidents occur in poor lighting situation.

Headlight performance/efficiency varies widely from brand to brand.

Even though there are federal regulations regarding headlight efficiency, not all headlights meeting the federal standards have some more efficiency or performance. Differences in performance can result from the manner and location of mounting of the headlight on the vehicle. As a result, two different vehicles having the same headlights can have largely different performance.

Headlight performance varies widely depending on the cleanliness condition of the lens.

A dirty headlight lens can be the cause of a loss of efficiency of as much as 90%. Another study revealed that 90% of the cars on the road today have dirty or deteriorated headlights that greatly reduce their lighting efficiency.

Head light efficiency can also be greatly impaired when driving in snowy and icy conditions. This is especially true when driving in conditions that are at or near the freezing point so that moisture from other vehicles is thrown onto the headlight lens of other cars. Many of us have experienced a condition where, when driving in ice and snow conditions, the headlight efficiency can be almost totally lost and we are driving virtually without any benefit from the headlights.

Routine Headlight maintenance is important.

It is highly recommended that everyone change their headlights every 2-3 years because headlight efficiency can deteriorate with time.

It is also recommended that headlights be replaced in pairs. If one of your headlights burns out, it is better to replace both.

Newer headlights often have greater efficiency than older ones simply because of technological developments. Newer halogen headlights are most certainly more efficient and add to the safety of night time driving.

Lens replacement is also important.

Replacement of the headlight itself, without replacing the lens, may only partially correct the problem. The lens itself on most vehicles is plastic and subject to deterioration due to road and weather conditions. Emissions from exhaust fumes, smog, and UV rays can all progressively deteriorate the lens with cloudiness over time, thus reducing the lighting efficiency making your vehicle less safe for nighttime driving.

For maximum safety, the plastic lens should also be replaced periodically. Most vehicle manufacturers do not have a recommendation for the routine replacement of the plastic lens and service technicians are not trained to inspect the plastic lens for such deterioration.

Make sure that your personal vision is as good as possible.

An important part of your total night time driving safety is the visual acuity of the driver. Night time driving can be very challenging to those with less than perfect vision.

The Schmidt-Salita Law Team recommends you have your vision checked regularly and only engage in nighttime driving if you are operating at maximum vision potential.

The American Optometric Association recommends eye exams for everyone under the age of 40 years at least every three years. For those drivers between the ages of 41 and 60 should have an eye exam every two years. For drivers older than 60, exams are recommended every year.

Older drivers can be more sensitive to glare in night driving conditions. Certain medical conditions, such as encroaching cataracts, will increase eye sensitivity. Obviously, some medicines and alcohol consumption can increase sensitivity to glare.

Eye glass coatings can reduce glare. Eyeglasses can to equipped with an anti-reflective (AR) coating, which is an ultra-thin film that reduces internal reflections in the lenses. AR-coated glasses improve night vision by transmitting more light than regular lenses and can help with daytime vision acuity as well.

Headlight Usage During the Daytime Can Improve Your Safety.

All safety experts recommend the use of headlights at all times during the day, but especially during periods of daytime limited visibility. Headlight usage during the day is more important in allowing the other drivers to know of your presence than it is to increase your own visibility.

If you have been injured in any motor vehicle collision during the day or the night, let the experienced Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation lawyers on the Schmidt-Salita Law Team help you to get justice for your injuries. The Schmidt-Salita Law Team lawyers and staff use a team approach to provide you with Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation legal services with personal care.