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Are Truck Manufacturers Putting Profits ahead of Safety?

Written by Peter Friberg.

I am a big fan of companies that do the right thing even when they don’t have to. Conversely I get annoyed at companies – particularly automakers/truck builders who save pennies at the expense of significant safety or even aesthetic improvements.

Friday’s post by Jason Cannon (CCJDigital.com) talks about the advantages of LED headlights and the fact that despite many truck manufacturers using LED lighting inside the cabin, very few make the obvious safety feature a standard feature for their trucks. Some do, however, make it an extra cost option.

The Peterbilt 587 offers standard halogen lights but re-engineering bumped brightness by 35 percent and bulb life by 79 percent. Optional high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps increase brightness by 220 percent. Ditto for Kenworth’s T680, which also gets LED exterior lights.

 

With some noted exceptions, most trucks get standard halogen headlights when they roll off the line. While effective in the short-term, bulbs used in halogen headlights can start to break down with exposure to the elements and everyday usage, dramatically reducing visibility as a result.

 

Drop-in LED replacements have become fairly commonplace on trailer brakes and turn signals where frequent bumps and jarring can render rear lamps dark, but they are still largely an aftermarket add-on the front of the truck.

Having better lighting isn’t insignificant, especially in an industry where so many drivers work/drive overnight. Companies need to stop making better lighting/better safety a cost-extra option and begin making it a standard feature.

Thanks for reading.

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