May 9, 2017 Auto Accidents

headlightsBright LED headlights are supposed to increase your road visibility at night, but according to critics they could also create serious and potentially life-threatening distractions for other motorists. As reported by CBS 2 Los Angeles, a Pasadena resident is calling for a nation-wide ban on what he labels “blinding headlights,” which can pose major discomfort for oncoming drivers. By many accounts, these newer energy-saving lights are retina-scorching instruments that are akin to staring into the sun. Donald Berry argues that they create a greater potential for accidents – an argument that is backed up by a recent report issued by the American Medical Association (AMA).

Petition to ban LED headlights

The AMA found that the blue wavelengths emitted by LED lights contribute to glare effects, diminishing visual acuity, thus “decreasing safety and creating road hazards.

While the Consumer Reports Auto Test Center maintains that the bulk of all LED headlights (also known as High intensity discharge headlights) are compliant with federal safety standards, some vehicle owners do after-market installations, which may be at the wrong height or angle, exacerbating the problem even more.

This blinding glare is also a problem with LED street lighting and traffic lights, posing another road hazard for motorists, particularly older ones whose glare sensitivity is already heightened.

High intensity discharge (HID) headlights are believed to allow drivers to see other motorists, traffic signals and pedestrians at greater distances. However, many people report that their exceedingly bright glare dazzles oncoming drivers, making it in fact more challenging to see potential hazards or bends in the road.

The AMA study also reported that unshielded LED lighting causes the pupils to constrict, contributing to “worse night-time vision between lighting fixtures.” Despite years of complaints about the hazards of LED headlights and their ties to vehicle accidents, the federal Department of Transportation has yet to perform a thorough investigation.

Tips to improve safety while driving at night

Considering that many California vehicles are equipped with high-intensity LED or halogen headlights, drivers are encouraged to exercise caution to prevent being “dazzled” by an oncoming vehicle at night. Special anti-reflective glasses can help reduce the amount of glare, and motorists can also shift their gaze down and slightly to the right. Another helpful tip is to keep your windshield clean and free of grime and smudges, which can create massive glare when hit by another vehicle’s lights. 

Checking your side mirrors and rear view mirror frequently will also help keep you attentive and alert to surrounding traffic and road hazards at night.

Car accident attorney in Los Angeles

Although LED lighting has many advantages and uses in our modern world, consumers and safety advocates alike realize how LED headlights may contribute to increasing numbers of traffic accidents and injuries.

In the wake of any type of collision, whether caused by a negligent driver, hazardous road conditions, or poor visibility, it’s crucial to speak with an LA car accident lawyer who can ensure your best interests are protected at every stage. Attorney Sean Salamati offers free, no-obligation consultations for potential clients throughout the greater Los Angeles area. To schedule an appointment, please call today.

Additional “LED Headlight Hazards” Resources:

  1. CBS News Los Angeles, Pasadena Man Starts National Petition To Ban New ‘Blinding Headlights’ http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2017/05/03/petition-ban-new-led-headlights/
  2. TheHindu, Not all is bright and shining with LED light: Study http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/Not-all-is-bright-and-shining-with-LED-light-Study/article14395564.ece
  3. Mercury News, Roadshow: LED headlights are just too bright http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/10/10/roadshow-led-headlights-are-just-too-bright/