Wednesday, 27 October 2021 23:14

Cars With Good Headlight Ratings Equal Fewer Crashes

Written by David A. Wood, CarComplaints.com


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New research shows better car headlight safety ratings are associated with reduced crashes when driving at night.

In 2016, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) created its headlight ratings program at a time when most researchers neglected how headlights relate to safety.


As of today, IIHS has rated about 1,000 different headlight systems in numerous models from various automakers.


According to researchers, federal headlight standards are beyond outdated and haven't changed much since 1968.


"The federal standard specifies minimum and maximum brightness levels for headlights at various angles," IIHS said. "However, it focuses on the headlight itself, without considering how well it is aimed once it is installed on a particular vehicle or how newer technologies such as curve-adaptive headlights may change that orientation when the vehicle is moving."


Driving at night carries three times more risk compared to daytime travel, and car headlights that earned "good" ratings had nearly 20% lower nighttime crash rates per mile compared to headlights rated "poor."


For vehicles with "acceptable" or "marginal" headlight ratings, crash rates are 15% and 10% lower than poor-rating headlights.


When the car headlight ratings program began, the rating results didn't affect the Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards. But in 2017, the IIHS began requiring at least one "good" or "acceptable" headlight system be available for a vehicle to qualify for Top Safety Pick+.


Then in 2019, that standard was adopted for the lower award and at least one good-rated option was required for the “plus” rating.


However, IIHS said in most cases the best headlights remained...

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