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Inadequate Headlights can Lead to Serious Car Accidents

January 7, 2021

Car wrecks commonly cause serious injuries and fatalities. Even if there are no injuries resulting from car accidents, a car crash can leave behind significant damage. The damage to a vehicle from just a minor accident can be quite costly. It is important to do everything possible to avoid an accident.

Car accidents can result from many factors, but many are caused by human error, such as speeding, texting and driving, and drunk driving. Some collisions are caused by outside factors, such as inclement weather and mechanical problems. When people think about mechanical problems with a vehicle, they typically think about brakes, steering, or transmission issues, however, this can include vehicle problems that interfere with the driver’s visibility as well. This is why researchers are taking a closer look at the impact of poorly performing headlights.

Good headlights allow the driver to see ahead of them and to be seen by other motorists, however, for many years, auto manufacturers have not provided quality headlights. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has complied data on headlight quality and safety. The IIHS rates headlight quality based on the illuminated area. This means the distance headlights reach on straight or curved roads determines their rating. Many older vehicles rank low because they fail to go the distance. Insufficient headlights can mean that a driver will not see danger until it is too late to react. This can significantly contribute to car accidents.

How Headlights Affect Driving Safety

While driving presents many risks, the dangers can increase significantly at night. Visibility is an important issue when it comes to traveling. During the day, especially when conditions are clear, drivers can see at greater distances.

In situations where the weather is problematic, it is much worse at night than during the day. For example, rain can make driving riskier any time of the day, but at night, it presents additional challenges. Rain can further limit the distance drivers can see ahead of them. At night, wet conditions also make it difficult to see lines and road markings on pavements because lights reflect off wet and shiny surfaces. Night driving can also be risky because of other factors. In many parts of the United States, nighttime increases the chance of hitting deer or other animals that come out to cross the road after sunset. Additionally, more drunk driving accidents occur at night.

Studies show that nearly 50 percent of traffic fatalities occur when it is dark. For this reason, headlights are a critical safety feature that many people may not think about. Headlights are important in two distinct ways. The first is that they help the driver to see in dark conditions. Being able to see hazards well in advance increases quick responses and allows drivers to have more time to brake. Improved light and vision also allows the driver to see potential hazards, like animals at the side of the road.

In addition to improving night vision for the driver, headlights play an important safety role for other motorists. A car’s lights makes the driver visible to other motorists, potentially preventing an accident. The brighter a vehicle’s lights, the more they are visible to other motorists. Considering all of the risks involved, headlights are vital to driving at night because they help the driver see and be visible.

How Auto Manufacturers are Addressing Safety Concerns

Many auto manufacturers have failed to equip their vehicles with safe headlights, but this is starting to change. The IIHS has urged these companies to upgrade their headlights for several years, and some are finally taking the advice. Part of the issue is outdated technology. Older headlights were not as good as current models. Several auto manufacturers have not kept up with current technology. Continuing to install outdated lights makes driving much more dangerous. This is why some companies have taken the step of upgrading to modern bulbs for their newer models.

Who is Liable for a Car Accident?

When it comes to liability in a car accident, there are many factors to consider. Each case has to be uniquely assessed. However, it is possible for a car’s manufacturer to be held partially responsible for an accident that was caused by a faulty part or insufficient equipment.

It is important to hold auto companies responsible for their roles in accidents. The laws can be complicated, and it may be hard for the average driver to know where to start. The best option is to contact a lawyer who specializes in car accidents if there is any question about the effectiveness of a vehicle’s headlights.

Huntsville Car Accidents Lawyers at Hodges Trial Lawyers, P.C. Help Clients Affected by Serious Collisions

If you were injured in a nighttime car accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Our Huntsville car accident lawyers at Hodges Trial Lawyers, P.C. help accident victims collect the compensation that they deserve. Contact us online or call us at 256-539-3110 for a free consultation today. Located in Huntsville and Athens, Alabama, we serve clients throughout North Alabama, Madison County, Limestone County, Marshall County, Jackson County, Morgan County, and Lauderdale County.