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Headlights on Most Pickup Trucks Don't Provide Sufficient Visibility

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Vehicle manufacturers install many types of crash avoidance technology on pickup trucks, including forward collision warning, backup cameras, and blind spot detection. But one safety upgrade ttruckhat remains elusive is efficient headlights. Many newer-model pickups have inadequate illumination, making it difficult for drivers to avoid crashes when visibility is poor due to weather conditions or to quickly spot dangers in the road.

Determining the Safety of Truck Headlights

In 2016, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested vehicle headlights for the first time—midsize vehicle headlights in March, SUV headlights in July, and pickup trucks in October. The testing included measuring light projection for both high and low beam settings; how vehicle light travels on curved and straight roads; and the glare caused by low beams.

The IIHS study evaluated the headlights on 11 truck models with 23 possible headlight combinations. Some of the findings include:

  • Approximately 14 headlight combinations cause excessive glare, which can temporarily blind other drivers.
  • Of the 11 models tested, all four small pickups have headlights with poor ratings, and so do three of the seven large pickups in the evaluation.
  • The 2017 Honda Ridgeline, at the most expensive trim level, was the only pickup truck with well-performing headlights. Low beams on this model illuminate more than 350 feet. Other models of the Ridgeline had poorer-performing headlights.
  • The 2016 and 2017GM Sierra models have acceptable ratings on certain trim packages.
  • Pickups that received poor performance ratings included the new 2016-2017 Ford F150, the 2016-2017 Chevy Silverado, and the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado. The Chevrolet Colorado's base trim model has a low beam illumination of only 123 feet.


Was your auto accident caused by a negligent driver of a pickup truck? Problems with his headlights and visibility could have been a contributing factor. If so, you may have claim against the negligent driver and vehicle manufacturer. An experienced car accident attorney can help you identify all liable parties so you receive the compensation you deserve. Fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options.


Category: Auto Accidents


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