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Most car headlights are not doing a good job...

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posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 10:33 AM
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There may be a reason why people have trouble seeing while driving at night, and it's not their eyesight. A new rating of the headlights of more than 30 midsized car models gave only one model a grade of "good."

Of the rest, about a third were rated "acceptable," a third "marginal" and a third "poor." The difference between the top- and bottom-rated models for a driver's ability to see down a dark road was substantial, according to the study released Wednesday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an industry-funded organization that evaluates automotive safety.

The LED headlights in the top trim level Toyota Prius V -- the only one of 31 models tested to get the "good" rating -- were able to illuminate a straight roadway sufficiently to see a pedestrian, bicyclist or obstacle up to 387 feet ahead. At that distance, the vehicle could be traveling up to 70 mph and still have time to stop.

But halogen headlights in the BMW 3 series, the worst-rated ones, were able to illuminate only 128 feet ahead.

At that distance, the vehicle couldn't be traveling at more than 35 mph and still have time to stop, according to the study.

That's important because of the more than 32,000 traffic deaths last year, about half happened at night or during dawn and dusk when visibility is lower.

The reason for the big performance gap is that there's a lot more to how well headlights help drivers see than merely the brightness of the bulb.

How is your cars headlights performing for you?

I have found while driving at night the bright new headlights shine so brightly in my rearview mirror that I have a hard time driving.
edit on 3 30 2016 by Quantum12 because: (no reason given)

edit on 3 30 2016 by Quantum12 because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 10:37 AM
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Most headlights are far too bright and dangerous in my opinion. Dazzling.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 10:39 AM
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a reply to: and14263

I agree too. The brightness in my rearview mirror causes me to skip lines while on the 405 expressway at night.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 10:59 AM
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If you think car headlights are bad at night, try riding a motorcycle. I think the problem is that if you make them too bright, you cause a safety issue for oncoming traffic.

I've found that cars with the newer headlights tend to work better than the older halogen ones. Fortunately, I am in a big city and the highways and roads around here are lit up at night. You don't realize how dark it is at night until you go somewhere without street lights and very little ambient light from buildings. However, in those cases, there is usually no traffic, so bright lights work fine.

Sooner or later the night vision technology in HUDs found on higher priced luxury cars will soon be making its way down to the cheaper cars.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 11:08 AM
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a reply to: Edumakated

You have brought up a great point. When highways or streets are lit up by post lighting, I do not have a problem at night. Driving from Los Angeles to Vegas at night can get scary while making your way thru the mountain passes.

Another great point you brought up is a motorcycle. Do you drive a motorcycle? That must be a challenge on a dark road.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 11:10 AM
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Combine older technology with that damn film that starts to cover your headlight covers and you even have less visibility. I've got two Toyota's and a Wrangler and I've contemplated switching out the bulbs in all 3 to a LED type. Damn expensive though.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 11:10 AM
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The new lights are more direction orientated. What I mean is the wife's new car they are nearly laser like where the beam ends at the sides and forward. Over a hill and they don't illuminate the ground on the other side till your over and the side vision goes black while still in front of the car. I mean it doesn't illuminate the sides of the road like the old lights do. She might get rid of it with less than 10k miles.


edit on 30-3-2016 by mikell because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 11:12 AM
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a reply to: HawkeyeNation

The film on headlight covers drives me crazy too... How are your new LED lights working for you?



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 11:13 AM
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originally posted by: Quantum12
a reply to: HawkeyeNation

The film on headlight covers drives me crazy too... How are your new LED lights working for you?


Haven't made the switch yet...the price is what is keeping me from doing it right now. I want to say that it was like $20-$30 per bulb.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 11:13 AM
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a reply to: mikell

Wow that is not safe for driving at night, or on a narrow road.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 11:19 AM
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a reply to: HawkeyeNation

There was a car that never made it to the market years ago. Before my time. The headlights followed your steering. If you turned left the headlights would follow your turn. It might have been a Packard car. I don't know.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 11:24 AM
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a reply to: Quantum12

Internet etiquette 101: Provide links to back up claims.

www.iihs.org...

Thank you for the information, but why is this study focused on the car manufacturer? They make it sound as if the headlamps are permanently attached to the vehicle. I have a mid-sized, fuel efficient sedan and change out the headlights myself. I buy the lights based on information that focuses on the performance of the lights and not the car they are attached to. And if you think about it, when you go to an auto parts store to buy lights, how many choices do you have? 4 dozen at best? How many different types of vehicles are on the road? One type of headlight is not exclusive to a certain make and model of vehicle. That, If I were to have to buy a kit that has everything in it for a new assembly to put the lights in, I would adjust certain parts for optimal vision and, again, that has nothing to do with the car I'm putting them on.

I understand the concept of a lighting "system", such as a GPS linked system that adjusts the positioning of the lights for curves in the road and even the changing topography, but ultimately the system is only as good as the lamps you put in. They need to do a study of the companies who make headlights, like Sylvania, so people can make a better decision on whether their vehicle is going to illuminate the road in front of them adequately, based on the lights they put in. You can't do that based the make and model of the vehicle itself.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 11:26 AM
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originally posted by: Quantum12
a reply to: HawkeyeNation

There was a car that never made it to the market years ago. Before my time. The headlights followed your steering. If you turned left the headlights would follow your turn. It might have been a Packard car. I don't know.


Most newer luxury cars have adaptive headlights that turn when you turn.

I rarely ride my motorcycle at night because the lighting is so bad. Unlike with a car, on a bike at high speed you have to be able avoid objects and road imperfections. You can get away with running over a tire or something in a car, but you might lose your life on a bike if you can't clearly see the road in front of you. it is challenging enough during the day. At night, it simply isn't worth the risk to me.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 11:33 AM
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a reply to: Taupin Desciple

Nice post. Last week my lowlight headlight burnt out. I dive a 2012 Volvo xc 90. I went to the auto part store where I had too many choices of bulb types. The sales person was trying to sell me two new and different types of lighting baulbs. I ended up just buying the OEM.

Great point you have made, the real problem is the makers of the lights and I agree with you the study should be focused on the baulb producers.

I read your link. I should have posted a source. I just put it in my words.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 11:35 AM
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a reply to: Edumakated

Your a smart person. I would not ride a bike after dark as well.

Thank you for pointing out that newer cars have swivel headlights.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 11:47 AM
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I think part of the problem is an improperly adjusted headlights. I remember when they used to write tickets for that sort of thing, but it has been years since I have heard about somebody getting one.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 12:00 PM
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We have the LED lights on our vehicle and I love them, especially since it is so dark out where we live. The only problem is snow seems to stick to the headlight extremely fast. I am not sure if it doesn't get hot enough to melt or another issue.

When you turn on your high beams it is like flood lights, you can see everything



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 12:12 PM
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a reply to: DimlyLit

I agree while driving and someone's light is pointing in my face it drives me crazy



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 01:13 PM
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It'd be interesting to know the stats over the years for accidents at night (I looked around and couldn't really find anything definitive).

That said, I can see just fine with my 83 Civic. I just put decent bulbs in. But most people have really annoying bright lights, leave their high beams on, or don't get them adjusted. They are often blinding and seem like they cause more damage than they are helping.

I'd say there are other issues that affect the numbers... paying attention to what's in the road first — namely alcohol & texting.



posted on Mar, 30 2016 @ 01:22 PM
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I miss the real glass headlight lenses!
It seems like the plastic ones just don't measure up! They scratch easily & can become cloudy & brittle over time.
I was told by a neighbor, who collects old cars, that at one time the real bright headlights were banned. They sure can sear your corneas when they are coming in the other lane! Seems like they are more of a hazard than a help!

WOQ



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