High intensity headlights create dangerous distraction on road f - KCTV5

High intensity headlights create dangerous distraction on road for some drivers

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While brighter bulbs benefit the driver by illuminating the road and making it easier to see, it does the opposite for the driver on the other side of the road. (AP) While brighter bulbs benefit the driver by illuminating the road and making it easier to see, it does the opposite for the driver on the other side of the road. (AP)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Driving at night can pose many dangers, but one of those dangers is meant to help drivers navigate the road.

The list of distractions drivers face is nearly endless from texting, phone calls, radio and drinking. However, the car lights themselves are posing more and more of a distraction for some drivers.

“They’re too bright. It’s distracting when you’re looking directly at the light,” said Jason Wildner, an overnight construction worker from North Kansas City.

Michael West of KC Complete Auto Service noticed more and more people are trying to make their older model cars look newer by installing high intensity HID or LED lights.

“Anytime someone with them drives towards you, it absolutely blinds you,” West said.

While brighter bulbs benefit the driver by illuminating the road and making it easier to see, it does the opposite for the driver on the other side of the road.

West suggests people do not use the brighter bulbs unless their cars already have them installed.

“They run on a much higher voltage. There’s transformer built into the lens…they’re a cleaner light, so to speak, but they’re expensive to fix,” said West.

If your car cannot handle the voltage, they may be a waste of money.

Janet said she bought expensive HID headlights for her own 2000 Toyota Corolla, and they failed.

In an email, Janet told the manufacturer:

“I bought the most expensive ones at Walmart thinking they would be better and brighter…and last longer. They didn’t. When I was returning home from Kansas City, they both went out at the same time. This was scary for me.”

Janet also mentioned she went back to Walmart and bought the cheapest ones they had, which saved her hundreds of dollars. Those lights worked much better.

West said many drivers do the same thing: waste money on lights that will not work, causing them to go out while driving.

“We always try to stick with the factory application because the electrical system in the car, everything is designed around a certain lightbulb,” said West.

Self-installation is another danger. It can result in the lights shining at other drivers at a dangerous height and angle, rather than directly on the road.

Dr. Raymond Brill with the Brill Eye Center said HID lights often create a dazzling effect that reduces the size of an oncoming driver’s pupils.

While the lights are not illegal, there are distracting.  They are so powerful, they can make your view go dark.

The best way to protect yourself when you see those lights coming toward you is to avert your eyes to the side of the road and follow the white line until the car has passed.

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