If you currently own a midsize SUV, you could be driving around in a vehicle with headlights that glare or are misaimed. Many SUV drivers assume that their headlights are designed to perform well, but that might not be the case.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently conducted a study on 37 midsize SUVs, according to USA Today, and researchers found that the majority of the headlights used in SUVs fall into the “poor” category based upon levels of visibility and amount of glare.
The IIHS has been testing the headlights on hundreds of different vehicle models in recent months, but the findings tied to midsize SUVs were surprising. They discovered that just two of the 37 midsize SUVs evaluated had headlights that could be considered “good” quality: the Volvo XC60 and the Hyundai Santa Fe. Comparatively, they found that 12 models’ headlights were considered “acceptable,” 12 others were “marginal,” and 11 were considered to be of “poor” quality.
The IIHS reported that many SUV headlights produce excessive glare and are incorrectly aimed, which can put both oncoming drivers and pedestrians at risk. Glare can heavily affect oncoming traffic, often blinding the oncoming drivers, which can result in collisions. Headlights that are incorrectly aimed can also result in light aimed in areas that won’t benefit the driver’s vision.
There are also some manufacturers that are trying to improve SUV headlights by using new forms of technology, such as implementing headlights that swivel based on the curves of the road. Though that sounds like a good idea in theory, research suggests that these types of headlights aren’t necessarily better. As time goes on, it will be interesting to see what will be done to correct these issues and to update the country’s safety standards and regulations.
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