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Most Small SUV Headlights Not So Bright

Having bright headlights in proper working order is essential for nighttime driving, or driving under other conditions with low visibility. According to a report released earlier this year by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), most small SUVs across the country have headlights that do not rate very highly in terms of lighting. Of the 21 small SUVs rated, only four received a rating of acceptable, and one received a rating of good. The cars tested ranged in price, and the more expensive cars did not fare any better than the less expensive.

The manufacturers of the tested car brands disputed the results of the report, and defended the performance of their cars’ headlights as meeting government standards. However, the IIHS report stated that government safety testing is conducted under laboratory testing, and does not adequately take into account real world conditions.

Despite this test, if a driver was driving one of the vehicle brands tested, and got into a car accident, caused in part by low visibility, it is not automatic that the manufacturer would be liable for the accident. After all, if the car passed government safety standards, it can be assumed to have been safe enough to drive. However, a driver who gets in a car accident due to low visibility caused by the car’s headlights can argue that the problem was in the design of the headlights, and it is the manufacturer’s job to fix the problem. Especially because the IIHS report states that the fix would only require the headlights being placed in a position to offer better aim.

Drivers who are involved in car accidents involving conditions of low visibility may argue that the manufacturer should be held liable for their poor design of the headlights. There are different kinds of product liability cases. If a car’s headlights are defective for a reason that originates, or is attributable to an error that happened during manufacturing, the driver may have a defective manufacture product liability claim against the manufacturer. If the claim is against the manufacturer for designing a product that is inherently dangerous, because of the way it was designed, then the claim against the manufacturer is a defective design claim. A claim against a manufacturer for a defective product is usually a strict liability theory, in which the plaintiff only has to prove that he suffered an injury due to a defect in the way the product was manufactured or designed.

If you drive one of the SUVs studied in the IIHS study, it is important you pay attention when driving at night or in low visibility. Your headlights may not be as helpful as they should be, and it may take extra attention to avoid an accident.

Contact Us For Legal Assistance

Drivers can be negligent when driving under a wide range of conditions. If you were involved in a car accident with a negligent driver, you should receive compensation for your injuries and property damage. Contact the experienced Columbus, Ohio auto accident attorney Ed Schottenstein of Schottenstein Law Offices for a complimentary consultation. Call us TODAY at (614) 467-8474. We’ll arrange free valet parking for you, too!