Most car headlights inadequate, says report

headlightA new report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has revealed that most car headlights are inadequate, after its researchers tested the illumination from more than 30 mid-size sedans, with just one vehicle earning the top rating.

The research, conducted for the first time, finds that all headlights are not created equal. In fact, there’s a lot of variation and just because the car may cost more, doesn’t mean its headlights perform better, CBS reported.

Headlights, or headlamps, are auto safety car parts, which are often mounted to the front of vehicles. The primary purpose is to illuminate the road during low visibility conditions, such as nights or fogs and as such essential in keeping car users safe from accidents and collisions.

A side-by-side video shows the difference between the top performing Toyota Prius v with its optioned LED headlights and the BMW 3 Series with halogen head lights.

At 50 feet, the driver of the Prius can clearly see a person in blue jeans and a deer on the road, but the 3 Series driver does not make them out clearly.

A researcher at the institute, David Zuby said: “The big thing that we found is that there is a large variation in the amount of light down the road. For instance, worst performing headlight, low beam only projects 130 feet down the road. In contrast, the best performing vehicle, Toyota Prius v with LED headlights, projects 400 feet down the road. There are government regulations dictating how much light comes out of the bulb, but not necessarily where it goes and whether or not it is usable by the driver.”

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