Kline Legal Group P.L.C.

Why Do Newer Model Cars Need Headlight Safety Systems to Keep Pedestrians Safe?

During the last decade the auto industry has made major changes in headlight technology as it has shifted away from reflector type headlights with separate high and low beam bulbs. Today's cars are mostly equipped with projector type headlights that use one intense light source that utilizes a shade to cut off the upper portion of the beam when on "low beams." A "dark curtain" effect is the result of this technology. This means that there is a cut-off of all light above the center of the projector light source when on low beams so, to the driver, it appears that there is a dark curtain just above mid-center of the windshield. Many drivers feel that they cannot see pedestrians or signs as well on dark nights in newer vehicles. Obviously, one cannot use high beams all the time when driving in well traveled areas and as a result more pedestrians are endangered by the projector light technology because the light is directed at the ground at 100 feet in front of the moving car. 

Instead of admitting that the projector headlight technology has serious safety concerns that would require massive recalls, the auto industry is developing so called "improved technology" so as not to admit liability. Below is a link to a news report that contains videos that dramatically demonstrate how poorly the projector headlight technology works on it own without major safety supplementation that are currently illegal (i.e. dynamic light spot light systems are illegal in the United States and it is only offered on luxury brand vehicles in Europe).

This begs the question, why not just go back to reflector type headlights that allow more light to illuminate objects in the road above the the center of the light source and protect more pedestrians from serious injury or death?

WTKR News Channel 3 Report on Headlight Safety 

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