Seeing Better at Night vs. Being Seen

carriage_lightsHave you ever wondered if the laws governing headlights was put in place so drivers could see at night or be seen? In the days of horse and carriage, lamps were placed on the carriage to better be seen, as horses could see at night without help. But with the horseless carriage came a new need for drivers to see the road at night.

From that day forward lighting designs changed about every ten years. Some were designed to be seen and others to help the driver see. By 1940 the government put specifications for lights into law so the driver could properly see the road, but by the 1950’s the laws were adjusted so drivers could better be seen for the sake of safety. Lights continued to improve on both fronts of seeing better and being seen, but it now takes a couple decades before laws catch up.

Today, if we were to place the quality and technology of lights on a 5-star scale, the current laws require a 3-star light, while manufacturers hold 5-star lights that are unusable due to old laws. As for the age-old question of whether or not a light is to help the driver see better or be seen, every administration waver back and forth as they try to implement new ideas like daytime running lights being mandatory so drivers can be better seen.

Regardless of the next administrations position on being seen or seeing better at night, Hi-Tech recommends night beams that reach 200-300 feet so you can see where you’re headed. We also recommend making sure your headlight lenses are clean or get replaced so the lamp’s output is not reduced to unsafe levels. While the over-the-counter chemicals rarely get the lenses free of its yellowing stains, reasonably priced lenses are easily replaced at Hi-Tech. As far as being seen, most vehicles have that covered sufficiently with today’s laws.

© 2017 Hi-Tech Automotive Specialists, Inc.

About CJ Powers

CJ is an author and speaker.
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