Just in time for Halloween the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety is releasing some pretty scary pickup headlight test results.
The IIHS recently tested headlights on 11 trucks and most received a poor rating.
Testers not only took into account the visibility they provided for the driver, but also whether they had excessive glare that could blind oncoming traffic. Testers evaluated a total of 23 possible headlight combinations. Fourteen of them had excessive glare.
The Honda Ridgeline was the only large pickup of the bunch to earn a good rating, but that’s only for the most expensive RTL-E and Black Edition trims that have High-Beam assist. The IIHS says other trim levels rated received a poor rating along with the Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150, and Toyota Tundra. The GMC Sierra received an acceptable rating, while the Nissan Titan and Ram 1500 scored marginal.
Small pickups didn’t fare well at all across the board. All four tested earn a poor rating: the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma.
The IIHS says the Chevy Colorado base trim was the worst of the bunch because its halogen reflector low beams illuminate to only 123 feet on the right side of the straightaway. (Compare that to the Ridgeline’s LED low beams that illuminate 358 feet.)
“These latest ratings follow the same disappointing pattern as the other groups,” says Matthew Brumbelow, an IIHS senior research engineer. “As vehicle safety has improved in recent years, this important equipment has been overlooked.”
IIHS launched its headlight ratings after finding government standards allow for a huge variation in illumination. Its researchers have already evaluated headlights on both midsize cars and SUVs and they didn’t fare so well either.
IIHS is incorporating headlights into the criteria for its highest award, TOP SAFETY PICK+. To qualify for the 2017 award, vehicles will need good or acceptable headlights.