You replace your tires and the battery in your car. but did you ever think about replacing your headlights?

New research from AAA reveals that clouded or yellowed headlights generate only 20 percent of the amount of light that new headlights do, leading to dangerous nighttime driving conditions.

Headlights can actually begin showing signs of deterioration after as early as three years to five years. It's not something we typically think about, so if you see any changes in appearance such as yellowing or clouding and if the bulb is difficult to see, it's time to have the lenses restored.

The decrease is caused by sunlight damage to protective plastic coatings on headlights, AAA Midatlantic spokesperson Tracy Noble said.

"These yellow headlights are really diminishing the output of the light that is needed to increase your visibility at night," Noble said.

Several automotive shops have a procedure in place to restore headlights. Noble said they won't be good as new, but they will be better.

Visibility is key, Noble said, especially on New Jersey's back roads which are poorly lit and are prone to deer crashes.

She said with 50 percent of the crashes occurring at night, AAA Mid-Atlantic urges drivers to check their headlights for signs of deterioration.

Replacing headlights with original equipment manufacturer parts is the most effective method to restore light output back to 100 percent.

"If you are getting an aftermarket headlight to replace it, that restores the output to about 83 percent and restoring the headlight could be up to 90 percent," Noble said.

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