If you asked people that recently purchased a car what they were looking for during the hunt for their new vehicle, a top safety rating likely played a major role. People are constantly seeking safer cars and manufacturers are being held to higher standards of safety with each passing year.
In fact, even the headlights on cars are now being held to high standards. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is now ranking how effective car headlights are, and automakers are eager to get the highest ratings possible. Many new cars are even coming out with improved headlights to meet the new IIHS expectations.
What exactly are the new standards of headlight safety? The IIHS believes that headlights should be strong enough to see a pedestrian or an oncoming car so that they are able to play a major role in accident prevention.
The organization started testing headlight functions in 2016. They believe that headlights being tested in a laboratory setting do not accurately represent how they function in the real-world. During the first round of tests, 17 small SUVs out of the total 21 tested were found to have ineffective headlights.
When ranking the safest cars of 2017, the cars that earned “Top Safety Pick Plus” not only had to have good headlight ratings, but also had to score well in crash tests. Automatic braking has also become a focus when it comes to safety ratings because it is believe to help avoid front-end crashes.
Only 38 cars won the “Top Safety Pick Plus” title this year compared to 48 winners last year, largely due to the new standards for headlights. The IIHS did mention that most luxury vehicles have poor quality headlights, and the only luxury vehicle that earned attention for having good headlights was the Volvo SUV.
The IIHS confirmed that 38 cars earning a spot in the “Top Safety Pick Plus” does indicate that manufactures are working hard to improve headlight functions on cars.
We at PermaPlate are happy to hear that so many companies are focusing on safety when it comes to vehicle production, and look forward to seeing what safety improvements continue to be made in the new calendar year.