As Daylight Savings time comes to an end, you will may be heading to work in the dark and coming home in the dark. (Reminder: change your clocks back one hour on Saturday night, October 31st, as Daylight Savings Time ends Nov. 1st!). It is a good time to remember to check all your vehicle light bulbs. We see cars every day that come in with burned out headlights, running lights, turn signals, and/or tail lights.
Statistics vary, but all studies agree that vehicle accident rates rise at night, up to three times as many as in the daytime. A variety of factors are responsible, including decreased peripheral vision, decreased depth perception, fatigued drivers or alcohol-influenced drivers. But visibility is obviously decreased at night and will increase the possibility of accidents, so good vehicle lighting is important for you to see and to be seen by other drivers.
Think about a time when you have been driving on a dark two-lane highway and a car with only one headlight is coming toward you – you can’t tell if it is a motorcycle or even if the vehicle is actually on their own side of the road. It is very deceiving! And if one of your own headlights is not operational, you may find that your depth perception is skewed – not a very safe way to drive.
Also be aware that studies are showing that use of headlights during the day significantly reduce accidents. Daytime headlight usage reduced the number of 2-vehicle crashes by 5.7% and decreased pedestrian accidents by 12% (rosenfeldinjurylawyers.com).
Every car that comes in for an oil change or routine maintenance service at Honest Accurate Auto Service is checked by our technicians to make sure all light bulbs are functioning properly. Unless you have someone walk around your car while you press on the brake pedal or operate your turn signals, you may not even be aware that you have light bulbs that are not operational.
Have you noticed that your headlights are not as bright as they used to be? Take a look at the headlight lens – you may notice that they are scratched and cloudy and do not allow the light to shine through clearly. A Headlight Lens Polish is a relatively inexpensive way to clear up the lenses. Our Headlight Polish service runs about $130, whereas totally replacing headlight lenses can run $1000 or more (depending on the make of the vehicle). One of the questions we are often asked is “How long does a Headlight Polish last”? That is similar to how long does your car wax last? It all depends upon the type of roads you drive on consistently and/or if the car is parked in the sun daily. If you drive frequently on gravel roads, the lenses will get scratched much faster.
Be ready for the darkening days – be sure ALL your vehicle lights are working properly. Also make sure your wiper blades are not streaking and that you have windshield wiper fluid. Drive safely and defensively this winter!