"One Eyed" Vehicles

One Headlight Burned OutIf you have normal vision, would you consider driving with one eye closed at night? To most people that would seem to be a very foolish question. Why would anyone want to diminish their capability to see while driving! Take a look at other vehicles on the highway right now. How many of them have only one headlight working? Isn't that the same as driving with one eye closed?

True, headlights are on a lot more at this time of year and are more apt to burn out. There is also gravel on the road from winter maintenance that contributes to broken headlights. On the other hand, it is a simple matter to purchase and replace these yourself at minimum expense.

Consider what good headlighting can mean to you. Night driving is essentially moving down a tunnel of light created by your headlights. That tunnel has to be wide enough and long enough to allow you to detect and react to any driving situation. Your lights also give other drivers information about where you are on the highway. The loss of one headlight is the loss of at least half that information and could be the major contribution in an accident.

If one headlight is out and you lose the other, what then? Do you drive with no headlights? Oh, you say, the police will only give me a warning. You may be ticketed for driving with only one headlight and you can expect to be ticketed and parked on the spot for driving with none!

Reference Links:

I have on many occasions let people know they were driving with high beams on.  After I let them know and they dimmed their lights it was obvious that they only had one low beam.  Apparently this is the lazy man's problem solver for this issue.  They don't seem to care that they are blinding everyone else on the road just as long as no one notices the burnt out light.

I see far more vehicles with one or both of their brakes lights burnt out.  In fact, last week I saw a truck going down the freeway with both brake lights out.  The only reason I knew the driver was braking is because his truck's centre brake light was still working -- barely working, I should say, as more than half of its LEDs were out.

Drivers should take a minute every few months to check all their lights.

I agree.  Several times a day I find myself behind a car that has only one functioning brake light out of three.  And it's always the center one.  Since center brake lights were introduced it seems the circuit that handles the original two brake lights isn't as strong as it should be and fails quite frequently, in the daylight the center brake light alone is not an adequate warning by itself.

Here is a good post about voltage drop v. light output (and how to fix it):

While not as obvious as a burnt out headlight, dim bulbs can also be a problem. Conventional automobile wiring leaves much to be desired. Over time the total amount of light output decreases, even with brand new bulbs, because the wiring has high resistance and can become corroded. I have upgraded my wiring to include relays and heavy gauge wiring right from the alternator and the different is dramatic!



Quite a few years ago, vehicles that were manufactured for sale in Canada, were required to have some sort of "daytime running lights." These daytime lights vary greatly depending on the make and model of the vehicle. It seems to me that a great number of drivers have never read their owners manual and don't realize that these lights are not meant for driving at night! Most do NOT have tail lights or dash lights on when just the daytime lights are on. I have seen two or three cars in a row driving after dark with just daytime lights on. I wonder, does the driver at the back of the line just think that the vehicles in front of him/her has something wrong with their tail lights? Most modern motorcycles have all requred lights come on whenever the ignition key is turned on. Problem solved! I wonder why other four-wheeled vehicles don't adopt this policy instead of the vast mixture of various lights? My rant for the day. Thanks.

Does not belong in this category but kinda fits.

Why was Ford allowed to put vehicles on the road that have four lamps instead of the usual two when on low beam?

At one time it was under the lightning regulations that when on low beam there could only be two white lights. Now we have vehicles coming at us with four lights and then two fog lamps. You are facing a wall of light. Not too bad when driving a pick-up but when in a lower compact sedan those lights are at your eye level.

I can't comment without being able to examine what you are talking about. Which year and model of Ford pickup are you speaking of?

Hopefully this link works.

The change was made with the last upgrade. This is the super duty model but 150 has the same configuration and would not surprise me if Ford continues it into all their vehicles in the future. What you have is the upper and lower light assemblies are always on. Between the two is the signal light and then below everything is the fog lamps.

This is also made more troublesome that dealers align headlights when vehicles are empty. Put a couple of skidoos along with the deck and now you have the squat problem added in.

Makes for enjoyable driving meeting these vehicles all winter long that are blinding everyone.

Well, your ire should be directed at Transport Canada. They are responsible for the rules and Ford only has to follow them when they build the truck.

Our provincial government is charged with upholding the rules set by Transport Canada, which is done through Division 4 MVAR. Headlights are dealt with starting at 4.05 and there is nothing there to say that there cannot be 4 headlight lit at any one time.

In reply to by DriveSmartBC

One of my life long problems. What I think I am saying and how others read it are two different things.

What I asked is why did the government allow Ford to have this type of lights and I should have directed my comment to Transport Canada. I never did mean my comment to be against Ford.

I studied weird things as a kid, (BC MVA an example) but in 1956 the U.S. automotive industry wanted to install what we now refer to as dual headlights starting in the 1957 model year. It took till 1958 to get approval from both Transport Canada and National Traffic and Motor Safety Division. Neither agency had these names back in the 50's.

Next big change was in the 60's when bulb type headlights were being imported from Europe. Both Canada and U.S. stipulated that sealed beam headlights were the only legal type allowed on Canada and U.S. Highways. Most European manufactures were putting the bulb type lights into their vehicles but had to remove for importing into North America. Cibie started importing as after market yet technically illegal.

Studded tires were another change that had to be made to the Act to be allowed on our Canadian highways.

What I am pointing out is that at one time the Acts in both U.S. and Canada dictated what could and could not be installed as standard equipment on vehicles. Today it appears the automotive industry in North America dictates to the appropriate agency what they will do. If they even bother getting approval.

Do we have a safety inspection division of our government or not? If so maybe they should start enforcing the regulations and not re-writing to fit what industry wants. At one time they evaluated the changes before giving permission today it is the other way around.

If I can ever find a mid 50's MVA I am positive that I am correct on only two white lights facing forward when on low beam. It is why for all those years cars had dual headlights that you had all four when on high beam and only two on low beam.

What you have is the upper and lower light assemblies are always on. Between the two is the signal light and then below everything is the fog lamps.

What is meant by 'always'? With DRL's, you would expect at least that the high beam lights would turn on with the ignition, but at decreased voltage. Being a Ford, it might also need to be put in gear with the parking brake off; that's how my 2012 Econoline (and all the 350/450 series trucks and vans) were designed.

But once the dashboard switch is turned from parking lights all the way to headlights, then the aim of the lights is determined by the high beam selection.

Problem is, there's an awful lot of drivers out there who forget to turn on their headlights at night, particularly if the dashboard is illuminated. And that's when DRL's can be blinding, even on six volts.

Good point about the lights getting aimed without a load in the vehicle, though.

The newer vehicles have the DRL's as a separate light system. They surround the headlights. In the picture provided they are the "L" shaped bars.

What it appears to me is once you turn on the headlights whether low or high beam the two assemblies that house the actual bulbs for the headlights both the upper and lower lights come on.

Now I am jumping onto my soapbox again. But it is time Transport Canada dictated that with the digital dash that the vehicles have to have automatic headlights.

A friend has a VW and when he starts the vehicle at night he has no dash lights or instruments until he turns on the headlights. In daylight they come on.