Who is Liable for Bright Headlights Causing Accidents?
Drivers will all agree on how annoying bright headlights are to the human eye. An oncoming car with bright headlights can unsettle any driver, especially on dimly lit roads. The headlight glare can take the focus of other drivers off the road, reduce visibility, and make it extremely difficult to drive.
Car Accidents Due To Headlight Glare By The Numbers
The rise of brighter LED headlights and the prevalence of SUVs and pickup trucks have given drivers new road problems. Many drivers complain about the overpowering intensity of these newer headlights, which are more troublesome when installed in higher SUVs and pickup trucks.
In a study by the NHTSA about glare perception, 30% find the glare from oncoming headlights disturbing.
Around 50% of fatal crashes occur at night. Headlight glare is barely considered one of the considered hazardous actions or causes that lead to fatal car accidents. It is because it is difficult to quantify the crash risk of headlight glare. But it must be noted that headlight glare can reduce visibility and cause discomfort. The NHTSA recognizes headlight glare as a driving risk and can lead to a car accident.
How Have Vehicle Headlights Evolved?
The first modes of transportation used kerosene lamps to light up the roads at night. Then motor vehicles used incandescent and acetylene lamps in the late 1890s and early 1900s.
Sealed beam headlights were introduced in 1939. Sealed halogen lamps became the European-standard headlights in the 1960s. The halogen gas reacted with the tungsten filaments of the lamps to produce a brighter, more even light that lasted longer. Sealed beam headlights became the standard in the USA in the 1970s.
In 1983 came the composite headlights, which made replacing the bulb easier when it burned out. Before composite headlights, the whole lamp set needed to be replaced.
The 1990s saw the birth of high-intensity discharge or xenon lights. They were brighter than halogen and had longer lifespans.
LED headlamps became popular in 2004 when Audi introduced one in the A8.
Types of High Beam Headlights
Among the popular types of vehicle headlights available in the market today are halogen, LED, and high-intensity discharge lights.