Both of these issues can lead to an accident and serious injuries. In fact, a study completed by the American Automobile Association (AAA) showed that the majority of headlamps on vehicles do not adequately allow drivers to see objects on the road soon enough to react safely. The average halogen low-beam headlamp illuminates up to around 300 feet ahead. However, the study showed that it takes about 500 feet for a driver to identify an object and stop. High-intensity discharge lamps have a distance of about 400 feet, which is still below the required distance to come to a complete stop.
However, there are things you can do as a driver to improve headlight safety to decrease your risk of being involved in a serious traffic accident.
Improving Safety with Headlights
Keep your headlights clean to ensure they work correctly and light the area. You can purchase cleaning kits in an automotive store that remove the film on headlamps that dim their brightness. It does not take long to clean the headlights, and this is a task that should be done on a regular basis to improve safety.
Always use the headlights at the correct settings and in situations where they are needed. For example, drive with high beams to improve visibility but not when approaching another vehicle. Dim your lights for oncoming traffic or when approaching another vehicle from behind. Also, use headlights in foggy or inclement weather, even in the daytime. While using your headlights may not seem to improve your visibility, the headlights can enable other vehicles to see your vehicle and avoid an accident. Additionally, headlights do provide some additional visibility in fog, rain, or other inclement weather to enable you to see obstacles ahead before you approach too closely.
State Laws for Headlights
You should also understand the Kentucky state laws regarding the use of headlights. However, you should also use good judgment when using your headlights. For example, even in states that don’t require the use of headlights at least a half-hour before sunset or a half-hour after dawn, it is still a good idea to use your headlights during these times. Driving during dusk and dawn can increase your risk of a traffic accident. Using your headlights can help other drivers see your vehicle and possibly avoid a collision. Furthermore, Kentucky recently enacted new laws regarding the color of headlights. The law goes into effect on July 1, 2017. All drivers should take steps to ensure they follow the new law or face penalties.
All drivers should learn to drive defensively and avoid accidents by understanding the proper use and care of their headlights. If you can prevent an accident by simply taking care of and using your headlights, it is worth the effort. Remember, other drivers may not be watching for you, so you need to watch for them. Even the safest driver can be injured in an automobile accident. If that happens, our Louisville accident attorneys are here to help.
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