Most midsize SUV headlights are poor or marginal, IIHS says
Just two 2017 midsize SUVs had headlights rated good among the 19 midsize and 18 midsize luxury SUVs in the latest test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The good models are the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Volvo XC60. Twelve SUVs are available with headlights rated acceptable, but 23 are not available with anything other than marginal- or poor-rated headlights.
As a group, midsize SUV headlights perform slightly better than the other SUVs and pickups we evaluated last year, said IIHS Senior Research Engineer Matt Brumbelow. Still, we continue to see headlights that compromise safety because they only provide a short view down the road at night.
Nighttime visibility is critical to highway safety because about half of traffic deaths occur either in the dark or at dawn or dusk. Differences in bulb type, headlight technology and even something as basic as how the lights are aimed all affect the amount of useful light supplied.
IIHS engineers measured how far light is projected from a vehicleês low beams and high beams as the vehicle travels straight or on curves. Glare from incoming vehicles also is measured from low beams to make sure it is not excessive.Download Bulletin PDF