New study finds most popular trucks have poor headlight ratings

IIHS image

(NBC News) — New tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show most popular trucks are falling short on lighting the way for drivers.

“Most of the pickups, including the Ford F-150, which is the most popular pickup in the US, have a poor rating,” says IIHS Senior Research Engineer Matthew Brumbelow.

Out of eleven small and large pick-ups tested, only the Honda Ridgeline earned a “good” rating, and that’s only on vehicles with the most expensive trim levels.

All four of the small trucks were rated “poor”, as were three of the large pickups. Two were deemed marginal and one acceptable.

“Almost half of traffic fatalities occur either at night or dawn or dusk and so for the driver to be able to see obstacles, see the environment and make changes or come to a stop the headlights are really the only thing that are going to be able to do that,” Brumbelow points out.

Tests include how far the high and low beams project light on straightaways and curves. Low beams are measured for the amount of glare created for oncoming drivers.

Fourteen of 23 systems rated “poor” for glare.

The poor results prompted the IIHS to include headlight ratings as part of the criteria for its highest “Top Safety Pick” award beginning next year.

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