As Louisiana readers know, many traffic collisions and motor vehicles incidents happen at night. Visibility is lower, and the brightness and intensity of a vehicle’s headlights can greatly impact how well a driver can see other vehicles and even pedestrians. Potential changes in headlight regulations by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard could allow for adaptive-beam headlights, which may reduce pedestrian accidents and make the roads safer in general.

Adaptive-bean headlights don’t just change in brightness automatically. They adapt to other things on the road, creating a shadow around other vehicles. This reduces the glare that oncoming drivers may experience from another vehicle’s high beams. As of right now, these are not common in U.S. vehicles because regulations have required distinct low and high beams.

Over the last few years, there have been indications that industry leaders understand the importance of making nighttime driving safer. In October of last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave permission to one major automaker to start using these adaptive-beam lights. Studies indicate that these lights could reduce pedestrian accidents and make it easier for vehicles to share the road at night when it is much more difficult to see.

Adaptive-beam lights may make it easier for a driver to see a person who is walking or running at night. Reducing Louisiana pedestrian accidents and injuries may start with increasing visibility for drivers, and this effort starts with allowing automakers to make vehicles that are responsive and adaptive to hazards. With or without a certain type of headlight in a vehicle, pedestrians injured in accidents may have grounds to seek compensation for their monetary damages, including pain and suffering.