Have you ever been driving at night when you see a car coming towards you with only one headlight on? Is it a car? Or is it a motorbike, or even a truck?
It can be pretty hard to tell until you get quite close … and it’s a pretty uneasy feeling you get – especially when it’s the left light that is working … because from a distance you’re not quite sure if it’s on your side of the road or on the other side.
Living in the country I get to see a fair number of one-eyed cars at night, but there’s more than few in and around the towns and cities as well.
According to the Highway Traffic Act we all must have two fully functioning front headlights, yet how many dead headlights do you see every week?
Contrary to what the local newspapers would have you believe – the police aren’t really that concerned about safety when you see the numbers of cars running around with only one headlight and even without turn signals.. no, there’s more money to be made at the local speed trap in the name of “safety”. Considering all cars manufactured after 1989 have to run on DRL’s (Daytime Running Lights) in Canada, it doesn’t take a genius to spot a car with one headlight … even during the daytime.
So what do you do when your headlight burns out unexpectedly and there’s no way you can get a replacement bulb/lamp?
Until now you were completely out of luck, but thanks to one concerned Canadian all is not lost.
The Auto Eyes™ Temporary Headlight consists of white reflective material cut into the shape of a standard headlight. By affixing the self-adhesive material to a burned-out or shattered headlight, the driver can resume the journey safely.
“The material shines intensely, reflecting a large amount of light cast by approaching vehicles. The Auto Eyes Temporary Headlight is so bright, it’s difficult to differentiate it from a functioning headlight,” says its Canadian inventor – David McAnally.
“It keeps you safe by balancing the light from your existing headlight and allowing other motorists to judge your vehicle’s size, location, speed and distance,” says McAnally. “Without it, you may be mistaken for a motorcycle, which may put you in a dangerous situation if the other driver turns in your path or crosses the median.”
The Auto Eyes temporary headlight can also be affixed to the inside surface of the windshield so that the driver need not leave the safety of the vehicle or venture out into inclement weather. A special backing material allows the Auto Eyes Temporary Headlight to be attached to the base of the windshield on the far right or left side to emulate a functioning headlight. The reflective material is approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
The beauty of this system is that it’s small and doesn’t take up any room in your glove box. If you get into a situation, just take it out of the glove box, peel off the backing and stick it onto the lens of the burned-out headlight. Once you’ve replaced the bulb it easily peels off and you can store it back in the glove box. It’s not a one-time use – it’s usable over and over.
No wires, no batteries, just peel and stick…
So how much does it cost? The Auto Eyes™ temporary headlight sells for $9.95 in Canada.
It’s available directly through their website at www.autoeyes.com
At that price, there’s no excuse for you not have one in every vehicle!
Why You Should Never Drive With One Headlight
At night, it’s very dangerous for you to drive with one headlight. Do you know why?
It’s not because you can’t see as well, although that does make it slightly more hazardous, especially if you drive too fast. At any speed over 100km/h, you are driving ‘beyond your headlights’. This means that, even if you have an excellent reaction time and good brakes, you will not be able to stop in time to avoid hitting anything that appears in your headlights; your vehicle is moving too fast to come to a stop in the distance illuminated by them. That’s one reason more deer are hit at night. Having only one headlight doesn’t decrease this distance, but it illuminates, less of the road making it less likely you’ll see the deer (or anything else on the road for that matter).
The main reason why having only one headlight can be fatal is less obvious. It involves the way our brains perceive things it can’t make out clearly. For example, suppose you’re driving at night, and you see light on the road in the distance:
As an experienced driver you are conditioned to interpret a vehicle approaching. You conclude that the vehicle is in the distance because the two headlights appear as a single light source. Your eyes aren’t able to distinguish two lights, so your brain assumes they’re there, but still far away.
As the car gets closer, your eyes will confirm what your brain ‘expected’; the single light divides revealing a car getting closer.
Now let’s look at a different situation. There’s a similar light in the distance: Your brain assumes it’s a car in the distance, but actually it’s a car with just one headlight, but it’s much closer than your brain assumes based on past experiences.
The danger lies in the fact that your brain interprets the single headlight as a pair of headlights at a distance. As a result, you will assume that you have plenty of time to make a left turn. In reality, the oncoming car is much closer than it appears, and if you were to stop and turn, you could easily collide.
So the danger is that if you have only one headlight, every driver that comes toward you will be misjudging the distance between your vehicle and his, every time! Only one of these oncoming vehicles needs to misjudge the distance while making a left turn or passing manoeuvre, and you both become a statistic.
So get that headlight fixed! But in the meantime until you can – use this great new innovation.
Information provided by Worsley School of Alberta, Canada
Designed for the front of your vehicle to help you be seen and feel safe
Reduces the danger of driving at night with only one headlight
Easy-to-use, proven product that reflects light from other vehicles instantly
Approved by the Department of Transportation ( D.O.T. )
Copyright © 2011 by Iain Shankland. All rights reserved.
Text / Images: Iain Shankland
Also Published at: Flagworld.com