Poor SUV Headlights are found by IIHS
We have previously discussed IIHS headlight ratings, including what the categories mean and what defines these categories. But new information has recently been released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that found that more than half of midsize SUV headlights tested as marginal, or poor.
The headlight test measures both visibility and glare; it’s the latter that needs to be significantly improved. This round of testing included 2017 models of 19 midsize SUVs and 18 midsize luxury SUVs. Here is a small breakdown:
- Hyundai Santa Fe and Volvo XC60 were the only two rated “good” for their headlights
- Twelve SUVs are available with “acceptable” rated headlights
- 23 are only available with “marginal” or “poor” rated headlights
- One of the worst headlights rated belong to the Kia Sorento
- For comparison, the Kia Sorento’s low beams illuminate 148 ft. compared with the XC60’s 315 ft of visibility.
Analyzing these Results
IIHS Senior Research Engineer Matt Brumbelow stated, “As a group, midsize SUV headlights perform slightly better than the other SUVs and pickups we evaluated last year, and that’s encouraging, still, we continue to see headlights that compromise safety because they only provide a short view down the road at night.”
Think about anytime you have purchased a vehicle. Was is at night? Did you actively test the headlights? Probably not. But, headlight visibility is essential to highway safety. About half of traffic deaths occur when it is dark outside.
In the evaluation, according to IIHS, “engineers measure how far light is projected from a vehicle’s low beams and high beams as the vehicle travels straight and on curves. Glare for oncoming vehicles also is measured from low beams in each scenario to make sure it isn’t excessive.”
More than half of the 79 headlight variants tested on the 37 SUVs have too much glare.
When purchasing a new vehicle, do not forget to consider headlight visibility ratings in making your decision. Check here for a full list.