An article in the November 29, 2018 Status Report of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) may be surprising with respect to the performance and costs of new headlights. The IIHS studies show the poor performance of headlights on some new car models from a variety of manufacturers. In a graphic (shown below) the IIHS is pleased to show that the performance of headlights has been improving  between 2016 and 2018 model years.

IIHS study showing improvement in headlight performance.

Yet, further in the article, the IIHS demonstrate the massive cost for the improvement of this performance, as shown below.

Would you be happy to pay $4,000.00 for a replacement headlight?

The Status Report article confirmed “When we did an initial¬† survey of prices last year for 2018 models, Ford was charging $4,555,00 for a Lincoln Continental headlight, the most expensive one in our survey”.

In contrast in 2017 a replacement of a headlight bulb for a 2007 Buick Allure at Canadian Tire resulted in a total cost of $40.44, including taxes.

The problem with these facts is that improved headlight performance may not necessarily improve roadway safety if costs are incredibly high. Many vehicle owners might consider driving without replacing a non-functioning headlight and take their chances at receiving a traffic ticket at a much lower cost. Would we like to meet one of these vehicles on the highway of a dark and rainy night?