AAA study: Dingy, old headlights a safety risk

Cloudy and yellowed headlights are significantly harming visibility and creating dangerous driving conditions, according to new research.

AAA released a study Tuesday showing cloudy headlights produce 80 percent less light than new headlights.

“Wow 80 percent. Well, I can believe that,” said motorist Stephen Drain of Beavercreek. “The cloudiness definitely reduces how the light bulb sends out light.”

Sunlight, age and wear and tear can damage the plastic headlight covers, said John Bucher, AAA tire and store manager in Beavercreek.

“As the lamps and the plastics age they can become discolored and foggy and they don’t provide the light and illumination that you really need to see safely at night,” said Bucher.

A professional cleaning and restoration can return light output to about 70 percent, but a full replacement with manufacturers recommended parts is the most effective way to restore light output to 100 percent, according to AAA.

If you think having a newer vehicle keeps you in the clear, think again. Headlights can start to deteriorate in as little as three years.

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