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Headlights and Bumper News

Headlight restoration or Plastic headlight restoration is the act of refinishing aged headlight lenses that have become discolored or dull due to oxidation primarily due to UV light and other environmental factors such as road debris impact (stones, sand, etc.) rain, and exposure to caustic chemicals. Over time the protective hardcoat breaks down with UV degradation and wear from abrasion, etc. If left untreated the headlights will eventually develop small surface cracks, a condition referred to as crazing. The effectiveness of the headlight in terms of light output measured by LUX is greatly diminished, by as much as 70%. This condition which results in hazy and discolored lenses is known for causing reduced night time visibility for travelers as the condition becomes worse. It is possible for cloudy and hazy headlights to be restored to a like new condition and represents typically a far more economical alternative than replacing the lens.

Additionally, headlight restoration extends the usable life of the headlight assembly, can be repeated if necessary and is considerably "greener" than disposal and replacement of headlights. It doesn’t make any sense to dispose of headlights that can be simply and cost effectively be restored, and by doing so greatly reduce Co2 emissions.

Corner protection in low-speed crashes

Recent estimates of the annual cost to repair vehicle damage from motor vehicle crashes ranges from $17 billion (£9.1 billion) paid by U.K insurers to $45 billion paid by U.S. insurers. Many of these repairs were for damage sustained in low-speed front and rear impacts, with the majority costing less than $2, 500 to repair in both countries. In about a quarter of all claims the damage is limited to the vehicle corners and vehicle bumpers should prevent or limit much of the damage sustained in these minor crashes. However, many vehicles do not have bumper reinforcement beams that extend laterally much beyond the frame rails, leaving expensive vehicle components such as headlamps and fenders (wings) unprotected. Research by IIHS and Thatcham shows that 15 percent overlap front and rear crash tests at 5 km/h into a bumper-shaped barrier produce vehicle damage similar to that seen in real-world crashes and in vehicle-to-vehicle front-to-rear crash tests with low overlap. Tests also show that relatively minor modifications to bumper beams can greatly reduce the extent of this damage in low-speed collisions.

Limitations of current bumper designs and potential improvements

For every 100 insured passenger vehicles up to 3 years old, about 7 insurance claims are paid each year for collision damage to the insured vehicles, costing an average of $3,721 per claim. This excludes costs covered by collision insurance deductibles, which typically are $250 or $500. It costs about $265 per year per vehicle to pay these claims, excluding administrative costs. 1 It costs another $83 per year to pay for other property damage caused by the vehicles, typically to another vehicle in a two-vehicle collision (collision damage insurance covers damage to the insured vehicle; property damage liability insurance covers damage caused to other vehicles). 2 Thus the average recent model vehicle incurs crash damage costs of at least $348 per year. For 2003 the costs to repair these vehicles and the damage they caused would have totaled $16-18 billion, based on an estimated 47 million vehicles. The high cost of property damage in motor vehicle crashes also has been recognized by the federal government.

Important considerations in the development of a test to promote stable bumper engagement in low-speed crashes

The National Safety Council (2002) estimates that more than 20 million passenger vehicles in the United States are involved in crashes each year. The exact number of vehicles involved in low-speed property-damage-only crashes is not known because many of these crashes are not reported to police or insurers. Nevertheless, data from U.S. automobile insurers indicate that the over-whelming majority of crashes producing vehicle damage occur at relatively low speeds. Each year more than 8 percent of recent model passenger vehicles have crash damage leading to insurance claims, with an average repair cost per claim of more than $3,000. The median damage amount is about $2,000, and the most common amount is in the $600 to $700 range. Furthermore, about 80 percent of the damage claims have no associated injury claims ( Highway Loss Data Institute, 2003a , 2003b ). These data show that low-speed crash damage constitutes a large portion of the total costs to U.S. society for repairing crashed passenger vehicles. These costs are huge; in 2003 more than $4 billion was spent to repair 2002 model vehicles alone.




Denver, Colorado