European vehicles with adaptive driving beam headlights increase roadway lighting by as much as 86% compared to low-beam headlights in the U.S.
 - Photo courtesy of AAA.

European vehicles with adaptive driving beam headlights increase roadway lighting by as much as 86% compared to low-beam headlights in the U.S.

Photo courtesy of AAA.

European vehicles equipped with adaptive driving beam headlights increase roadway lighting by as much as 86% when compared to U.S. low beam headlights, according to new research from AAA.

The report also finds that the average illumination for high beam is 12.5% higher for European specification as compared to U.S. specification headlamps.

The new research is the latest in a series of studies conducted by AAA since 2015 that examines the limitations of U.S. headlights.

In the latest report, the authors conclude that federal law should be altered to allow European headlight technology to be used to full capacity on U.S. roadways.

While only 25% of driving is done at night, 52% of driver fatalities and a staggering 75% of pedestrian deaths happen after dark.

However, 64% of motorists do not regularly use their high beams, according to earlier AAA research. This means when driving at moderate speeds like 40 mph with low beams on, motorists will not have enough time to appropriately react to something or someone in the roadway.

High beams, however, improve forward illumination by 28% in comparison and are much more effective at providing the proper amount of light when traveling at higher speeds. With the European tech, the high beams are always on and when another vehicle is detected, that area is shaded to prevent glare that would otherwise interfere with the other driver's field of vision.

Last fall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed an amendment to allow manufacturers the option of equipping vehicles with ADB systems. AAA submitted comments to NHTSA along with supporting primary research. With this latest research, AAA continues to support NHTSA's work in this initiative and to advocate for adaptive driving beam headlights in the U.S. 

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