AAA: US Needs Improved Headlight Technology
April 17, 2019—Because driving at night carries the highest fatality rate for drivers and pedestrians, AAA is making a push to increase headlight technology in the U.S., bringing it up to par with that which is already on the roadways of Europe and Canada.
New research from AAA noted that European vehicles equipped with adaptive driving beam lights (ADB) increase roadway lighting by as much as 86% when compared to U.S. low-beam headlights. AAA believes this technology, which isn't presently allowed by U.S. standards, could be a key solution to making driving at night safer.
Additionally, AAA supports changes in the law to allow ADB to be used to its full capability.
“Driving at night doesn’t have to be such a risky undertaking for Americans,” said John Nielsen, managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair, AAA, in a press release. “The technology not only exists, but is being used in other parts of the world to effectively provide the amount of light needed to keep drivers and pedestrians safer.”
Consider: in the state of New York alone, there were 1,041 total fatal crashes in 2016, with 47.1 percent occurring in the dark.
AAA research found that a majority of Americans (64 percent) don't regularly use their high beams. And, AAA notes, that means that, when driving at moderate speeds like 40 mph with low beams on, motorists will not have enough time to appropriately react to something in the roadway.