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Standard ‘adaptive headlights’ could help stop people from getting hit by cars

A law made adaptive headlights legal in the United States, but a Phoenix lawyer wants to see these headlights become the standard.
Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 12:38 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A law made adaptive headlights legal in the United States, but Phoenix lawyer Frank Verderame wants to see these headlights become the standard to lower the number of pedestrian deaths.

It was part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was signed into law in November. Depending on conditions, adaptive headlights automatically switch from low to high beams to better illuminate the roads and objects. The headlights, commonly used in Europe, have LED lamps that can focus beams on darkness such as the driver’s lane and areas along the roadside. They also lower the intensity of the light beams if there’s oncoming traffic. Camera sensors and computers help determine where the light should go.

The new rule, which was supported by the auto industry, comes as the safety agency grapples with a dramatic rise in traffic deaths nationwide. Transportation officials are hopeful that could help reduce road deaths and specifically prevent people from getting hit by cars. Around 200 pedestrians are killed every year in Arizona. The peak time for these deadly accidents is after dark.

“I’ve seen way too many pedestrians hit and killed. Most times it happens at night,” said Verderame. He hopes to see adaptive headlights become an industry standard, not just for luxury vehicles. “I’m sure everyone in the industry’s hope is adaptive headlights will make people easier to see and save lives.”