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IIHS Study Shows Better Headlights Lead to Less Crashes

According to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), vehicles with headlights that earn a "good" rating have a 19% lower nighttime crash rate than those with worse ratings. In the study, researchers point out that federal headlight regulations, which have not changed significantly since 1968, focus only on the headlight itself, and not the positioning of the headlight once it is installed in the vehicle. With the advent of new vehicle technologies, it is imperative that federal headlight standards adapt to ensure vehicles are as safe as possible.


The crash fatality rate per mile traveled is approximately 3 times more than the rate during the day. High-quality headlights increase visibility, thereby making it safer to drive at night. There have been great strides in the development of headlight technology that make it significantly easier for a driver to see at night. However, these technologies often come at additional cost to the driver as part of a "luxury" package.


This study, which has been compiling data since 2015, is the first study to document how much high-quality headlights can reduce nighttime crashes. Read the research in its entirety here.