Driving comes with undeniable risks, and an important factor when it comes to increasing safety behind the wheel is improving the visibility of our vehicles. As such, our headlights play an important role in keeping our roadways safer for everyone who travels on them. Headlight failure accidents are a considerable concern, and if you or someone you love has been injured in an accident that resulted from headlight failure, Mark Casto at The Mark Casto Law Firm – 706-450-7071 – is an experienced Georgia car accident attorney who is on your side and well prepared to help you understand your legal rights.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Voices Its Concerns
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) affirms that visibility is key to keeping our roadways safe, noting that about half of fatal traffic accidents in the country happen either in the dark of night, at dusk, or at dawn. Ultimately, the better our vehicles’ headlights are, the fewer visibility-related car accidents there will be on our roadways. IIHS points out, however, that not all headlights perform at the level they need to adequately illuminate the roadway for drivers. Consider the following statistics shared:
- In 2016, when IIHS’s rating system began, only 1 out of the 80 headlight systems tested received a rating of good.
- In 2022, about a third of the headlight systems tested received a rating of good while about 40 percent rated marginal or poor because of inadequate visibility, low beam glare, or both.
- Those vehicles whose headlights receive a rating of good lead to 19 percent fewer nighttime crashes involving single vehicles than those with poor ratings do.
IIHS reminds drivers that, under optimal conditions, it takes about 1.5 seconds to react safely to an unexpected event on the road, and when you are driving at highway speeds, this translates to traveling about 120 feet. The fact that it typically takes more than 144 feet to come to a stop under these conditions highlights the importance of maintaining excellent visibility whenever you drive and highlights the importance of having headlights that do their job and are in excellent working condition.
What Happens When Headlights Fail?
We tend not to pay much attention to our headlights and, instead, simply trust them to do their job. The problem is that too many drivers fail to notice when their headlights become incrementally less effective over time or even when they lose the light from one headlight altogether. Unfortunately, failing to notice these deleterious effects does nothing to mitigate them. Visibility is always a concern, but it becomes even more so in the following conditions:
- At night and as darkness falls
- In bad weather, including rain, fog, snow, ice, and hail
- In deeply wooded areas or other stretches where natural light is minimized
- On stretches of road where there are few or no streetlights
As visibility decreases, the risk of accidents rises considerably. If you have been injured in a headlight failure accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, reach out to The Mark Casto Law Firm for the professional legal guidance you are looking for.
Do Headlights Prevent Accidents?
The truth is that properly functioning headlights can help prevent accidents and can help save lives. In fact, it is generally agreed that keeping your headlights on whenever you are behind the wheel is the safest strategy. While they may not always be necessary, your headlights provide you with a safety boost when there are varying light conditions, which can be difficult to predict. Further, using your headlights in inclement weather is always well advised, and in the state of Georgia, headlight usage is required when it is raining and at any other time that there is limited visibility.
If one of your headlights burns out, you may not register the difference behind the wheel, but the effects, which amount to half the illumination, can prove exceptionally dangerous. Checking all your vehicle’s lights regularly is in the best interest of everyone’s safety.
How Many Accidents Are Caused by LED Headlights?
While advances in technology often enhance safety efforts, the implementation of ever-brighter headlights – especially those that ride higher on the bodies of SUVs and pickups – has led to increasing complaints that it is simply too much (from the perspective of oncoming traffic).
In fact, our headlights have absolutely gotten brighter, and many motorists interpret this as too much of a good thing. The bottom line is that, while LED headlights may better illuminate the path for motorists in vehicles that have them, they can have blinding effects on oncoming traffic.
According to the Transportation Project Impact System (TPICS), the following factors apply to LED headlights, and as a result, they can increase the likelihood that accidents will happen:
- LEDs burn much brighter than other headlights.
- The light LEDs emit is better at approximating daylight, but it can be perceived by our eyes as being out of place, unpleasant, inappropriate, or even painful at night.
Ultimately, having the brightest headlights possible is not necessarily the safest approach to take.
Discuss Your Concerns with an Experienced Georgia Car Accident Attorney Today
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a headlight failure accident that was caused by another motorist’s faulty headlights, the consequences you face can be immense, and obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled is paramount. Mark Casto at The Mark Casto Law Firm in Georgia is a seasoned car accident attorney with reserves of impressive experience successfully guiding claims like yours toward advantageous outcomes that bolster our clients’ rights and best interests. Your claim is important, so please do not wait to either contact or call us at 706-450-7071 for more information about how we can help you today.