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Are your headlights a safety hazard?

For most drivers there will be a time when you’ll have to drive at night. What drivers should realize is that as the sun goes down the risks on the road goes up.  The reason for this is that a driver’s vision is compromised at night. Which negatively impacts their depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision. According to a survey form Sylvania Automotive, at night, 28 percent of motorists have difficulty seeing road hazards while 62 percent avoid driving al together.

Before setting out on the road at night you’ll want to make sure your car is ready for nighttime driving. These headlight maintenance tips will help your better prepare for the road and improve your vehicle safety year round.

  • Replace your headlights before they burnout - Headlights can dim over time, so replacement before burnout is suggested. Vehicles with burned-out headlights often can be found traveling on dark roads, posing a risk to both the driver, and others on the road. 
  • Always swap in pairs - It’s very important to replace headlights in pairs. Since headlights dim over time, a new bulb paired with an old bulb creates an uneven field of vision for drivers, which can be a major distraction on the road.
  • Upgrade - It’s no secret – better headlights can help increase further down-road visibility, which in turn can help nighttime drivers feel safer and more secure. If there is an object on the road, headlights help drivers react sooner. Many consumers don’t realize they have options when it comes to headlights, but they do. And any upgrade above a basic headlight replacement helps to create a better, safer experience for the driver. Look for headlights that offer greater down-road visibility with a whiter light for maximum clarity. Whiter light improves contrast, allowing a driver to better distinguish objects on the side of the road.
  • Properly aim your headlights - It’s important to properly align and aim your headlights to ensure that the light is projecting down the road, and not into the eyes of oncoming drivers. If your headlights’ aim is off, it can drastically decrease nighttime visibility.

Keep in mind that the headlights are an important safety item and is often the driver’s first line of defense when driving at night. Just like other parts of your car, headlights need to be maintained in order to work properly. For what is a relatively inexpensive item to maintain or replace, your headlight provide an immeasurable safety benefit to you, your passengers and others on the road.

Source: http://www.carcare.org
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