Your Car’s Headlights Could Be Putting You at Risk in Minnesota
It's not as big a problem if you have a newer vehicle, but if your car is getting older are your headlights all cloudy and foggy? That could be a big problem.
Because if your older car's headlights have turned all cloudy and foggy, they could be putting out only a fraction of the amount of light they're designed to emit. That's the word from AAA, who says in THIS story that some of those foggy headlights are only putting out about just over 20-percent of the light they did when the vehicle was new!
That's a big reduction-- which can lead to some dangerous driving conditions at night! The story says that the average age of a car on the roads in Minnesota these days is about 11 years old (which seems a bit old to me-- I seem to see LOTS of cars and SUV's newer than 2008 models out there, but I digress...), but these foggy and cloudy conditions can sometimes occur in cars that are only 3 to 5 years old!
The condition happens, the story says, because prolonged exposure to sunlight causes the plastic coating on our headlights to break down, which results in the plastic turning cloudy or foggy. That cloudiness then limits the amount of light the headlight puts out-- in cases by nearly 80-percent!
And, the story says, because it happens gradually over time, we don't necessarily notice how little light our headlights are actually putting out. It also says that over 50-percent of crashes happen at night, so it's important to make sure your headlights are giving you as much light as possible.
So, what can you do? The story says if you notice the headlights on your car ARE cloudy, ideally you should have them replaced with new lights. If that's too expensive, you can always try cleaning them yourself (you can buy a headlight restoration kit or cleaning solution at most auto parts stores, or make a solution using products you already most likely already have-- you can get more HERE.)
And, of course, during a Minnesota winter, sometimes just clearing all that built-up salt off your headlights can be a big help too.