In the Dark: New Ratings Show Most Headlights Need Improvement

This article reports on a recent set of findings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) resulting from crash avoidance ratings. Of the 31 midsize cars evaluated, only one (Toyota Prius v) has a headlight system that earned a “good” rating. Eleven vehicles earned “acceptable,” and nine only reached “marginal.” Ten of the vehicles cannot be purchased with headlight systems that get anything better than a “poor” rating. The author comments that expense is not necessarily related to good headlight systems; many of the headlights rated “poor” were from luxury vehicles. A brief description of the development and implementation of this new test (for headlight performance) is included. And, although there were only 31 vehicles tested, the IIHS tested a total of 82 headlight systems, rating every possible headlight combination that can be purchased by consumers for those 31 vehicles. One sidebar reviews a recent finding that most drivers do not use their vehicle’s high beams, even on the darkest roads. The author notes that this finding underscores the recent decision by the IIHS to award extra credit in its headlight ratings for vehicles that have a feature to automatically switch between the low and high beam settings (depending on whether other vehicles are present). One table lists the names of the vehicles with their ratings. Readers are referred to two related articles as well as a page that summarizes IIHS research on crash avoidance technologies in general.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: n.p.
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01597753
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 21 2016 11:02AM