BETTER HEADLIGHTS WOULD IMPROVE CAR SAFETY

According to a recent study, there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to cars' headlights. NBC News reports that of the 31 midsize cars that were tested, only one received a rating of good. Even then, the Prius V was only rated good when it was equipped with an optional package that contained a feature that automatically dims high beams and LED headlights.

10 models were rated as poor, including the Volkswagen Passat and the Chevrolet Malibu. Nine cars received a marginal rating and an acceptable score was given to 11 models. The Honda Accord and Nissan Maxima were among those cars receiving an acceptable rating. It should be noted that even the vehicles who received a score of poor still met the current standards for safety set by the U.S. government.

The study took into account both how much glare a car's headlights created for approaching vehicles and how well the road was illuminated by the car's headlights. Considering the fact that 25 percent of all driving takes place at night and almost half of all passenger fatalities occur at night, safer headlights would be an important step in reducing those numbers.

One technology that automakers are developing and using to increase night driving safety is adaptive headlights. According to Consumer Reports, equipping cars with adaptive headlights resulted in a 10 percent reduction in property damage liability claims. Adaptive headlights swivel to adapt to the car's position in tandem with the steering wheel and are generally brighter and have better range than standard headlights.

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