• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Why older headlights are a 'major safety concern' for American motorists

American

Beer Lover Extraordinaire
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
90,259
Reaction score
28,880
Location
SE Virginia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Why older headlights are a 'major safety concern' for American motorists

Find yourself wondering whether your headlights are out, only to discover they've been working the whole time?
It might be because the plastic covering the bulbs has become clouded or yellowed. In fact, at an average of 11 years old, the typical vehicle on the road today is generating only 22 percent of the light that it did when its headlights were new, according to a new study by AAA.
"We were really shocked by the amount of deterioration in light output that we saw," said Greg Brannon, AAA's director of automotive engineering. "It's a major safety concern out on the roadways today."
Here's some good information for the ordinary car owner that may not be aware of this problem.
 

ttwtt78640

Sometimes wrong
DP Veteran
Joined
May 22, 2012
Messages
70,611
Reaction score
40,214
Location
Uhland, Texas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
I see lots of folks using restoration kits to 'de-fog' the headlamp housings on older vehicles. I have tried that method myself but it does not work well or last very long. The best bet is simply to periodically replace the plastic housings. On our 2002 Tahoe the daytime running light housings also filled with water - drilling 3/16 holes in the bottom of their housings (directly under each bulb) fixed that problem.

https://www.amazon.com/Headlights-D...t=&hvlocphy=9028248&hvtargid=pla-571859723497
 

OlNate

Shameless Canuck
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
20,496
Reaction score
11,760
Location
Ontario, Canada
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
Why older headlights are a 'major safety concern' for American motorists


Here's some good information for the ordinary car owner that may not be aware of this problem.

Mine got dim, so I replaced them with extra bright lights - higher brightness means shorter lifespan, so I get a couple years out of them max. More expensive, but better light, and they never get the chance to get old and dim. It's about the only thing that is "live fast, die young" about my Impala...hehe...
 

American

Beer Lover Extraordinaire
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
90,259
Reaction score
28,880
Location
SE Virginia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Mine got dim, so I replaced them with extra bright lights - higher brightness means shorter lifespan, so I get a couple years out of them max. More expensive, but better light, and they never get the chance to get old and dim. It's about the only thing that is "live fast, die young" about my Impala...hehe...

The problem for the newer cars with plastic light covers, is that these covers fade, dull and yellow over the years due to UV radiation. New bulbs don't change that. The lens must be repolished or replaced.
 

OlNate

Shameless Canuck
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
20,496
Reaction score
11,760
Location
Ontario, Canada
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
The problem for the newer cars with plastic light covers, is that these covers fade, dull and yellow over the years due to UV radiation. New bulbs don't change that. The lens must be repolished or replaced.

Thanks for the tip. I'm not super handy with cars, figured I was earning my merit badge for just being able to change the lights on my own....lol... I'll keep an eye out for a good product that will do the cleaning, as I will admit that after having the car a few years, even the bright lights are looking a little dimmer.
 

chuckiechan

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Messages
16,568
Reaction score
7,252
Location
California Caliphate
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
The problem for the newer cars with plastic light covers, is that these covers fade, dull and yellow over the years due to UV radiation. New bulbs don't change that. The lens must be repolished or replaced.

Have they solved this problem? Or are we waiting for China to steal the technology and do it themselves?
 

PIPEWRENCH

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 19, 2014
Messages
12,564
Reaction score
4,076
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
I think the biggest danger is all the vehicles with real bright lights that are not adjusted properly. Blinding oncoming traffic is a death sentence. If I hit you head on with my 10,000 lb. 1 ton truck because you have blinded me it will be a bad day for you whether you can see the road or not. I cannot understand how so many vehicles pass a safety inspection with dim lights or improperly adjusted lights. With all our technology I don't understand why we don't have self adjusting lights that automatically adjust. Every time I put a load in my pick up truck my lights go out of adjustment and blind oncoming traffic. I am so tired of adjusting my lights on the truck every time I carry a load at night.
 

sangha

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 1, 2011
Messages
67,218
Reaction score
28,524
Location
Lower Hudson Valley, NY
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent

PIPEWRENCH

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 19, 2014
Messages
12,564
Reaction score
4,076
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Have they solved this problem? Or are we waiting for China to steal the technology and do it themselves?

I actually found out the hard way that the cheaper cover from china only last a couple of years vs the factory covers that seem to last 10 years. I thought I was saving money because they were half the price. As usual the Chinese cheaper replacement is a cheaper product. They are fine if you are selling the vehicle.
 

American

Beer Lover Extraordinaire
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
90,259
Reaction score
28,880
Location
SE Virginia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
I think the biggest danger is all the vehicles with real bright lights that are not adjusted properly. Blinding oncoming traffic is a death sentence. If I hit you head on with my 10,000 lb. 1 ton truck because you have blinded me it will be a bad day for you whether you can see the road or not. I cannot understand how so many vehicles pass a safety inspection with dim lights or improperly adjusted lights. With all our technology I don't understand why we don't have self adjusting lights that automatically adjust. Every time I put a load in my pick up truck my lights go out of adjustment and blind oncoming traffic. I am so tired of adjusting my lights on the truck every time I carry a load at night.

This isn't generally check in VA, from my experience. But they have to be setup to do it.
 

PIPEWRENCH

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 19, 2014
Messages
12,564
Reaction score
4,076
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
This isn't generally check in VA, from my experience. But they have to be setup to do it.

It is really not that hard once you learn how. The problem is you need a dark place to see where the headlights shine on a wall from about 25' away. A light output meter is not that expensive to see if they are putting out the proper amount of light.
 
Top Bottom