Accidents Due to Headlight Glare

If you’ve held a driver’s license for at least a few years, you may have noticed that car headlights have gotten increasingly brighter. At times, blinding headlights can make it difficult to safely see the road ahead, especially when driving at night. It turns out that the issue of seemingly too-bright headlights isn’t all in your head. 

As headlights have increased in intensity over the past several years, the rate of headlight-related car accidents has also increased. Dangerously bright headlights have even been the reason behind large-scale auto recalls. 

All drivers should be aware that headlight intensity is a real problem. If you end up in a crash related to headlight glare, a car accident lawyer may be able to help you explore compensation options by seeing if the manufacturer can be held responsible for its decision to equip the other vehicle with unsafe headlights.  

Serious Safety Issues Raised by Headlight Glare

Cars have been equipped with headlights for well over 100 years. Back in the 1880s, the earliest motor vehicles were equipped with oil lamps to aid nighttime visibility. Car headlights underwent several changes throughout the 20th century, moving from electric to sealed beams to high-intensity discharge headlights. 

The 2010s marked a significant departure from the past as LED headlights were rolled out on a large scale. If you’ve ever found yourself suddenly blinded by an oncoming car in the dark, chances are the car was a newer model equipped with LED headlights. 

The problem with LED headlights on vehicles is that they emit blue light, which often appears much brighter to human eyes. While LED light sources have exploded in popularity due to their “energy efficient” status, there’s no shortage of studies highlighting concern for how these lights impact human vision. 

In the case of headlights, LED lights combined with factors like angle and intensity are leading to serious safety issues with many newer vehicles — some of which have even been recalled due to the blinding effect they can have on other drivers. 

Dangerously Bright Headlights Lead to Auto Recalls

According to Consumer Reports, General Motors went through multiple rounds of auto recalls due to dangerous headlight glare on certain vehicles. The first round of 2022 recalls impacted around 338,000 SUVs. The first round of headlight-glare-related recalls concerned 2021 SUV models: 

  • Cadillac Escalade
  • Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • Chevrolet Tahoe 
  • Chevrolet Suburban 
  • GMC Yukon
  • GMC Yukon XL

In all these vehicles, the daytime running lights experienced a software glitch that left the lights running at all times. 

The safety concern was that the light produced a significant glare that violated the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 108. This standard sets regulations that address safety concerns around motor vehicle lighting. 

Later, GMC recalled an additional 825,000 trucks and SUVs for the same issue. Vehicles impacted under that recall range from years 2020-2023. This recall encompassed all the same models covered by the first recall and was extended to also include models: 

  • Cadillac CT4 
  • Cadillac CT5
  • Buick Envision
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • GMC Sierra 1500

GMC isn’t the only auto manufacturer facing safety liabilities over unsafe headlight glare. In late 2022, Porsche recalled 193,000 vehicles from the years 2003-2020. Impacted models include: 

  • Cayenne SUVs
  • Macan SUVs
  • Cayman S coupes
  • Panamera sedans

The Porsche recall was due to misaligned headlights creating a glare that interfered with driver visibility. 

Protect Yourself After a Headlight Glare-Related Accident

When you end up in a car accident, the standard procedure is for one of the drivers to be deemed at fault. However, the recent headlight recalls show that over a million vehicles produce a headlight glare dangerous enough to cause an accident. 

If you’ve been involved in a car accident and you think dangerous headlight glare was a contributing factor to the crash, a personal injury lawyer might be able to help identify whether a product liability claim against the auto manufacturer could be the source of injury compensation. 

When automakers like GMC and Porsche sell dangerous vehicles and the result is a crash, these companies can be held financially responsible. 

Before you assume that injury compensation must come through one of the drivers’ insurance policies, it’s wise to explore other options, especially if you think headlight glare was the reason for the crash.

Since 1992, our personal injury attorneys at the Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. have been fighting for the people of San Diego. Now, when those injured in automobile accidents – including cartruck, and motorcycle accidents – need financial help, or for the families that need to know that the loss of a loved one could have been prevented, there is a personal injury law firm in San Diego that is on their side. If you or a family member has been injured, call the lawyers at Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. There’s never been a better time than right now to speak to a personal injury attorney—FREE of charge. Call us at 858-551-2090 or request a free consultation online today!