OMBUDSMAN ALERT: AUTO HEADLIGHTS MUST LEAVE THE DARK AGES: PART II

BY DR. LOUIS ALPERT

Ombudsman

More than two years ago, on June 23, 2017, OMBUDSMAN ALERT published PART I of this article on auto headlights, establishing the claim of safety experts that “poor illumination is responsible for the increasing number of highway deaths especially among pedestrians.” That article further stated that “In Europe as well as Japan, automakers introduced head lamps that automatically adjust to incoming traffic to reduce glare.”

In order to bring us up-to-date on this issue, this Ombudsman will now quote from the Detroit Free Press article: “Better headlights coming?”:

“Millions of Americans are driving around in the dark. That’s not a metaphor, it’s the state of U.S. headlight technology and maintenance compared to places like Canada, Europe and Japan. only about half of the 2018 model year vehicles in the U.S. offered ‘adequate’ headlights, and frequently only on expensive, option-laden models. That put good visibility out of sight for many American drivers, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an industry group that tests and advocates for safety features.On top of that, experts say improper installation reduces the effectiveness of many advanced headlights, turning what should be safety aids into glaring annoyances for other. drivers.”

The article goes on to complain that “Help is on the way,but there’s no telling when it will arrive.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which this Ombudsman has often quoted in past articles, is in the process of developing rules for a new technology called ‘adaptive driving beam’, or ‘.ADB lights’. It is unfortunate that automakers and suppliers are waiting impatiently to offer the superior systems they already sell in much of the world!

Todd Morgan, senior vice president for global product development at lighting supplier Marroc stated that “lighting technology has never accelerated like it is today.”

This Ombudsman notes that ADB lights combine three features that are innovative, and have been proven in the driving of millions of miles in heavily regulated, safety conscious markets.

OMBUDSMAN ALERT concludes this article with the hope that these innovative ADB LIGHTS will be available to the auto consumer as standard equipment in all new models coming out by the year 2020!

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