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Headlights Fall Short on Safety, New AAA Tests Find | Edmunds.com

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited May 2015 in General
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Headlights Fall Short on Safety, New AAA Tests Find | Edmunds.com

Conventional halogen headlights found on most U.S. cars and trucks fall short on safety, according to new testing by AAA.

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Comments

  • agentorangeagentorange Posts: 893
    So what AAA are telling us is that we all "overdrive" our headlamps, especially on low beam. This is hardly news. What is a scandal is that AAA report that you cannot drive at 55mph with halogens even on high beam in the US. That's because the DoT does not allow proper four headlamp systems in the way that I was used to when I lived in Europe. Over there you can have the outer lights switch to high beam AND an inner pair come on dedicated for long range throw. DoT limits the Lumen output in the US so that is verboten here. Small wonder the US invented the air bag and all the other crash related safety systems; drivers can't see where they are going. The alternative is 55 mph limits at night and a governor that cuts you speed to 48 mph when you switch to low beams. Yeah, right.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,017
    There is a lot more to the advanced headlight systems that everyone needs to know about. It would be great if every high tech system could be loaded onto every one of today's cars. But the reality still comes back to just what is the consumer willing to pay for? Advanced HID and LED systems have to monitor vehicle ride height and attitude, as well as steering angles (and more) in order to constantly re-aim themselves. That means even more complex electronics in the car and a comparative leap in the cost of service and repair of the vehicle that impacts long term as well as second and third hand owners who can usually least afford these luxuries.

    Audi's Matrix LED's are a fine example of both the best and the worst when it comes to this technology. Everyone will adore them right up until they need to be repaired. But don 't expect warranties to pick up any slack because ultimately the cost of those have to be paid by the consumer inside of the initial purchase price of the vehicle. Meanwhile when they do need to be repaired the proliferation of proprietary scan tools and software licenses will see the options beyond the dealer network become few and far between. Of course one also has to understand that its unlikely there will be much to repair with these anyway since many of these new lamp assemblies are sold as just that, complete assemblies, and one still needs the scan tools and software to initialize and "aim" the lamps.
  • desmoliciousdesmolicious Posts: 671
    The worst headlights ever are on the current Jeep Wrangler. On low beam I had to check to see if they were on. High beam were the equivalent of normal cars' low beams. I changed out mine for better aftermarket options, but it is ridiculous I had to do that. My old 2002 Wrangler had much better lights.
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