The aim of the game

New data reveals that correctly aiming headlights has a substantial impact on night-time driving safety.

Earlier this year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that very few headlight systems were rated as acceptable or good. The IIHS didn’t explain why so many headlights rated poorly, but new analysis of the results has found that poorly-directed headlights accounted for more than half of the low rating.

In Dr Bullough’s report, Vehicle Headlights: Aiming for Better Driving Safety’, he shows that scores tended to be better when headlights were aimed properly and worse when the headlights were aimed either too high or too low. Though not all of the variation in headlight performance can be attributed to aiming, it was a meaningful factor.

The number of systems rated as acceptable or good would have doubled if they had been correctly aimed. It may not be obvious to consumers that having their headlights properly aimed on a regular basis can influence night-time driving safety. Properly aimed headlights influence safety by improving driver visibility and minimizing glare to oncoming vehicles.