Current government standards for headlights don't light up road - WNEM TV 5

Current government standards for headlights don't light up road

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is shedding light on why for some seeing the road at night, even with your headlights on, could be harder for some drivers.

"The big thing that we found is that there is a large variation in the amount of light down the road," said David Zuby.

Zuby, who works for IIHS, said the price of your car does not seem help with what he considers to be a problem in the way headlights are regulated.

"For instance, worst performing headlight, low beam only projects only about 130 feet down the road,” Zuby said. “In contrast the best performing vehicle, a Toyota Prius V with LED headlights, projects 400 feet down the road."

Zuby said automotive manufacturers may be producing headlights that seem bright enough for safe driving at night, but said if you feel it's difficult to see at night with your headlights on he said the brightness of your headlights may not be the problem.

"There are government regulations dictating how much light comes out of the bulb and not where it goes and whether or not it's usable by the driver," Zuby said.

Some critics agree that current government standards do not guarantee your headlights will light up the road.

Locally some service shops are seeing customers come in to replace their factory bulbs, even in newer vehicles.

"The lower grade lights are halogen and the better ones are HID or LED," said Alex Ornelas.

Ornelas is the owner of Tri-City Customz in Saginaw Township. He said while many of his customers upgrade their bulbs purely for looks.

Ornelas said he's beginning to see a growing number of drivers wanting to upgrade their headlights in order to see better at night.

“They're both doing it for different reasons but they are both getting a better light,” Ornelas said.

The reason for the concern, according to a National Safety Council study, traffic fatalities are three times higher at night, which means your headlights play a big role in keeping you safe.

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