Study finds quality headlights crucial in crash avoidance


NEW YORK, NY (CBS Newspath) – Headlights have been used on cars for more than 100 years. A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is shedding light on how important a quality pair of headlights can be to help avoid accidents. “The study is important because driving at night is three times as risky as driving during the day,” says Matt Brumbelow with the IIHS.

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Brumbelow was part of a team that looked at 44,000 crashes and found vehicles with headlights that received a good rating had a 20% lower risk of being in a crash compared to cars with headlights that had a poor rating. There was also a 30% reduction in accidents where the driver was injured.

The IIHS says high-performing headlights can help a driver identify a potential hazard in just two seconds, while it could take up to six seconds with poor lights. “The difference between that could make the difference between being in a crash or not,” Brumbelow says.

29% of cars the IIHS tested received a good rating. But the group is pushing automakers to do more and the government to update current standards. “The federal regulation for headlights is quite outdated, so we would like to see the Federal government improve the regulation that exists right now,” Brumbelow says.

Brumbelow also says the government needs to change how headlights are tested and consider new technology to better illuminate a driver’s view of the road.

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