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AAA Finds Room to Improve Vehicle Headlamps

    Halogen headlights rule the road, the bulbs being found in 80 percent of vehicles. However, a recent study conducted by AAA showed that halogen lights fall short on safety and pedestrians and animals may not be visible to drivers in time for them to stop. (AAA)


    No headlight choice will be perfect or recreate daytime lighting as even the most advanced technology emits enough light to meet only 40 percent of sight distance that dull light of day does. But, light emitting diode (LED) and high intensity discharge (HID) headlamps provide an advantage for drivers.

    "...[T]he advanced headlight technology found in HID and LED headlights illuminated dark roadways 25 percent further than their halogen counter parts..." (AAA)

    HIDs are two to three times brighter than halogen lamps and LED lights last substantially longer than either HID or halogen lights. (Innovative Light)

    Though AAA found that there are benefits to newer headlight technology, AAA's managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair notes that there is always room to increase safety.

    "While it's encouraging to see the safety benefit that newer headlight technology offers to drivers, there's still room for improvement. Unlike the more advanced headlight technology available in European vehicles, current government regulations limit the light output for vehicles sold in the United States. AAA looks forward to working with U.S. policy makers to ensure federal regulations keep up with changing technology." (Kelley Blue Book)

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