Illuminating Results: IIHS releases report on headlight-related accident prevention

Toronto, Ontario — The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says its headlight ratings are doing the job, as the organization reports that vehicles equipped with “good”-rated headlights are successfully staying out of collisions on the road.

According to IIHS, vehicles with a “good” rating in the IIHS evaluation have nighttime crash rates that are 20 percent lower than those with poor-rated headlights.

Compared with poor headlights, good-rated headlights reduced the rate of crashes in which the driver was hurt by 29 percent, and the rates of tow-away crashes and pedestrian crashes by about a quarter each.

“Driving at night is three times as risky as driving during the day,” said IIHS senior research engineer Matthew Brumbelow. “This is the first study to document how much headlights that provide better illumination can help.”

IIHS has been rating headlights since 2016 and even made quality headlights a requirement for its Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards, as an incentive to OEMs to prioritize proper lighting on vehicles.

“Our awards have been a huge motivator for automakers to improve their headlights,” said Brumbelow. “Now, with our new study, we have confirmation that these improvements are saving lives.”

The IIHS’s full report, “Lighting the way: IIHS headlight ratings predict nighttime crash rates”, can be found here.


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