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Adaptive Driving Beam Headlight Systems: Are They Safe?

06/28/2022
Car Accidents
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Today’s vehicles have many advanced safety features, some you may not even know about.  One newly approved safety feature that will be available in newer cars being driven on American roadways is the adaptive driving beam (ADB) headlights. ADB headlights utilize advanced switching technology to shine less light on occupied areas of the road and more light on unoccupied areas. This helps reduce light shined into oncoming cars to help avoid blinding an oncoming driver. A Florida auto accident lawyer explains some key safety highlights of the new ADB headlight system features for your consideration when purchasing a new vehicle.

ADB Headlights Approved in 2022 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a final rule this year that now allows automakers to install ADB headlights on new vehicles driven on American roadways. According to NHTSA, it “prioritizes the safety of everyone on our nation’s roads, whether they are inside or outside a vehicle. New technologies can help advance that mission.” 

The final rule amended the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108 (involving lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment). The goal of allowing the installation of the new ADB headlights is to improve safety on the roads and protect vulnerable road users. The headlights will make it easier for drivers to see pedestrians, bikers, and animals, without reducing the visibility of oncoming drivers in other vehicles.

How Do ADB Headlights Improve Safety?

ADB smart headlights help increase a driver’s visibility of the road ahead of them at night time by shining additional light onto the roadway. However, unlike traditional bright headlights, ADB headlights do not blind the drivers of oncoming vehicles, which can help avoid unnecessary accidents where the oncoming driver is blinded. These smart headlights utilize advanced technology to shine less light on occupied areas of the road and more light on unoccupied areas. ADB headlights offer levels of seeing distance like the traditional high beams. However, like low beams, these smart headlights also limit the glare for the vehicles immediately ahead of a driver, as well as oncoming drivers.  

A benefit of using the ADB technology is that it helps improve safety on the roadways is that ADB headlights can provide up to 250 feet of additional illumination than traditional low beams for the driver. This can help provide earlier notice to a driver of the need to stop or slow down which can help reduce accidents and increase a driver’s ability to stop safely, especially at night when fatality rates are increased.

Are There Different Types of ADB Headlight Systems?

There are different types of ADB headlights. Some use shutters within the headlamp assembly which then helps shade oncoming cars from the glare of the headlights. Other types of ADB headlights are made up of multiple LEDs that are able to disable some of them when appropriate so the light doesn’t blind oncoming drivers. In fact, ADB headlights provide about the same amount of glare to oncoming drivers as low-beam headlights while also providing additional illumination for the driver. 

When Will ADB Headlights be Installed in Vehicles

Although it is not yet known when most manufacturers will be installing ADB headlight technology in vehicles used on American roadways, some manufacturers have already installed the ADB hardware in cars, but the feature just needs to be activated. If you are in the market to buy a new car, be sure to ask the dealership you are working with about whether the vehicle you are looking at has the ADB headlight safety feature.   

What Other Safety Features Should Be Considered Before Buying a New Car?

In addition to asking about the ADB smart headlight feature in new cars, you should also consider a vehicle’s overall safety before making your next car purchase. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) vehicle safety database found at nhtsa.gov/ratings allows you to check your vehicle’s crash test rating by entering certain key information about the car such as the year, make, and model of the vehicle.  

After entering this information into NHTSA’s website, you can generate a crash test report that will include information such as:

  • An overall safety rating of the vehicle
  • Frontal crash, side crash, and rollover impact tests
  • Important car recalls and owner complaints
  • Video clips of the actual crash test done, if available, on the vehicle so you can see the impact of each type of crash test done on the car

In addition to the NHTSA’s database, you can pull information on your prospective new wheels from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). You can visit the IIHS website at iihs.org where you can enter the year, make, and model of your vehicle and see an overview of your vehicle’s safety rating by the IIHS, if available. 

If you have questions about the new ADB feature or a vehicle’s crash ratings report, contact a Florida auto accident lawyer at Searcy Denney for a free consultation.  

Next Step? Contact a Florida Auto Accident Lawyer at Searcy Denney Today for Assistance with Your Personal Injury Case. 

Overall, ADB headlights help improve safety on American roadways by use of traditional low and high beams because they increase illumination for drivers to see other vehicles, people, animals, or other objects on the roadway and they reduce the blinding effect on other drivers.  Also, because they are smart headlights, they are more effective than traditional headlights because often drivers do not properly use the high beams such as turning them on when needed and turning them off when oncoming drivers are approaching. 

If you have questions about whether adaptive driving beam headlight systems can help you stay safe on the road, or if you were in an auto accident involving defective or misuse of headlights, contact a Florida auto accident lawyer at Searcy Denney can help.  Our personal injury lawyers have extensive experience in determining causes of personal injury cases, such as whether issues involving headlights were involved. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation. We have offices conveniently located in Tampa, West Palm Beach and Tallahassee and work on a contingency fee basis. We are standing by to help you with your personal injury case.

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