Know the Law: Car Accessories That Aren't Street-legal

Posted by AAC Representative on

Cars with headlight accessories that are not street legalIt's a fact of business that technology tends to move faster than regulation can catch up. When it comes to car accessories, this is certainly the case. A number of innovative products and components developed by car makers and after-market specialists are unavailable in the United States because of the slow pace of regulatory change. In addition, some after-market accessories are not legal to use while driving on public roads.

Dynamic Lighting

European car makers like Audi, Volvo, and BMW have taken huge strides in rolling out headlight technology designed to react to the road. Dynamic high beams, for example, can determine when another car is approaching and dim only the LED bulbs that are shining into that car. No more switching high beams off and on every time a car passes. BMW's dynamic spotlight takes this to the next level by actively increasing the amount of light directed at pedestrians, making them extra visible to the driver. Unfortunately, this light technology has not yet been approved for use in the U.S.

Strobe Brake Lights

In Europe and Asia, some cars have an extra safety feature in the brake lights designed to alert drivers to sudden stops ahead. When a driver abruptly applies more pressure than normal to the brake, the lights not only come on, but they also strobe flash for extra visibility. In the U.S., strobe lights are allowed on other parts of the car, but brake lights can only be solid colors.

Colored Headlights

While colored headlights are popular car accessories regularly seen at car shows, they are prohibited for street use in some cases. Colors other than white or yellow are not ideal for headlights on the road because they do not provide enough visibility. The best options for colored headlights have a white light setting that can be used while driving and dynamic colorshift displays that are perfect for showing off a vehicle in a parking lot or convention hall.

Thankfully, there are plenty of options for customization that fit squarely within the rules and regulations. At Oracle Lighting, we manufacture and sell a huge range of automotive lighting products and other car accessories designed to give you the functionality and style you want. Find the Oracle Lighting store nearest you or learn more by calling toll-free at (800) 407-5776 or at (504) 835-0055 if you're in the New Orleans area.


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