IIHS study shows your truck's headlights may not be safe enough

WASHINGTON- A new study shows your truck may not be as safe as you think.

New tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show many popular trucks are falling short on lighting the way, which could be very dangerous for drivers.

The IIHS released new ratings for pick-up truck headlights and the results aren't good.

"Most of the pick-ups, including the Ford F-150, which is the most popular pick-up in the U.S., have a poor rating," said IIHS senior research engineer Matthew Brumbelow.

Out of 11 small and large pick-ups tested, only one - the Honda Ridgeline - earned a "good" rating and that's only on vehicle with the most expensive trim levels. All four of the small trucks were rated poor, so were three of the large pick-ups. 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 said.

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.

"Out of the 23 different headlight systems that we rated, 14 had too much glare," Brumbelow said.

The poor results prompted the IIHS to include headlight ratings as part of the criteria for its highest "top safety pick" award beginning in 2017.

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