11a-HeadlightGlareBrochure-original

11a-HeadlightGlareBrochure-original - AAA FOUNDATION FOR...

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AAA FOUNDATION FOR TRAFFIC SAFETY 607 14th Street NW, Suite 201, Washington, DC 20005 202-638-5944 800-993-7222 www.aaafoundation.org STOCK 970 © 2002 Printed in USA
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f bright lights have been both- ering you more lately when you drive at night, you’re not alone. The com- ment above, like hundreds of other complaints received recently by the government and AAA clubs across the country, indicates that glare from headlights has flared into a bigger problem than ever. But you don’t need to continue to suffer. With the right strategies, the right driving techniques, and the right equipment, you can fight back at nighttime glare. “I feel like I just stared at an arc welder.” New Lights, Old Problems Drivers have been complaining about glare ever since electric headlights began replacing oil lamps on automobiles more than 85 years ago. So what’s the big deal now? Why does glare seem to have grown worse? The answer involves technology, automotive design, and demographics. Extra lights. Many vehicles now sport fog lamps or other auxiliary lights in front. Ideally, fog lamps cast a low, broad beam to reduce “back-scatter” from the vehicle’s headlights when water droplets hang in the air. They’re intended to improve a driver’s abil- ity to see in foggy, misty, or hazy conditions. However, when they’re aimed improperly or used on clear nights, they can annoy other drivers. 3
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High-tech lights. Introduced in Europe in 1996, high- intensity discharge (HID) lights are showing up on more cars in the United States, especially upscale models. Unlike conventional bulbs, HID headlights don’t have filaments. Instead, they use a high- voltage electrical arc to ionize xenon gas and make it glow. HIDs emit twice the light of halogen headlamps, but also pro- duce a blue-white light. Other headlights look yellow by comparison. Whether you love HIDs or hate them depends on which side of the light you’re on. Drivers with HIDs swear by them, while other drivers swear at them. Many motorists who are faced with HID lights find the amount of light and its blue-white quality blinding. Higher lights. After years of steady growth, sales of SUVs and light trucks have surpassed sales of passenger cars. Many of these larger ve- hicles—especially the four-wheel-drive variety—ride higher than cars. As a result their headlights ride higher, too. Although no headlights can exceed the 54-inch height limit set by federal safety standards, the lights on SUVs typically measure about 33 inches—almost 9 inches higher than headlights on passenger cars. It’s no won- der car drivers often complain that the lights on big 4X4s shine directly in their eyes. 5 4 Off-kilter lights. Headlights pointed as
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This note was uploaded on 09/28/2010 for the course IOE 437 taught by Professor Green during the Fall '10 term at University of Michigan.

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11a-HeadlightGlareBrochure-original - AAA FOUNDATION FOR...

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