For Carlsbad, California residents who are thinking about buying a new automobile in the coming months and are focused on auto accident prevention, it is important to pay attention to safety ratings. According to a recent article in USA Today, only 38 cars earned “top safety pick” ratings by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), indicating that safety features aimed at preventing car accidents and serious injuries may not be having the full effect that automakers had hoped.
Headlamps are Primary Focus of IIHS’s Safety Picks This Year
As the article explains, we are living in a time in which car manufacturers have “had to add high-tech features to get top ratings” in the IIHS annual “top safety picks” survey, yet a more low-tech item may be what is holding a number of vehicles back from earning that coveted “top pick” rating: headlights and headlight safety.
The IIHS indicated that it has made its criteria for headlight safety more rigorous in order for a vehicle to earn the Institute’s “highest safety honors, the Top Safety Pick Plus label.” As IIHS President Adrian Lund explained, the IIHS has “raised the bar,” encouraging automakers to do more to promote driver and passenger safety in automobiles. He explained further that “automakers have not focused enough attention on whether or not headlamps are aimed such that they light up the road for the driver ahead of them.”
Some automakers have gone to great lengths to develop elaborate headlight schemes, particularly in luxury vehicles. For instance, some 2017 models have “fancy headlights that shift with the curvature of the road in an effort to provide better illumination.” However, according to Lund, these intricate and high-tech headlamps are not necessarily making it any easier for drivers to see, and thus they are not improving safety in a noticeable way. Indeed, some of these headlights simply cause too much glare, while others do not provide enough nighttime visibility for a driver.
Fewer Cars Earn Top Safety Picks, Suggesting Need for More Safety Improvements
As a result of many high-technology headlights that simply do not work as well as their older-school predecessors, fewer cars received top IIHS ratings. As we mentioned above, only 38 models from 2017 received high scores from the Institute. Each year, the IIHS looks at approximately 200 different models. Last year, it awarded a “top safety pick” seal of approval to nearly 80 models from 2016. As you can see, the IIHS cut that number in half this year.
What are some of the vehicles with approved headlights that earned top scores? Toyota fared well, earning the “Top Safety Pick Plus” for a number of its 2017 models, including the Corolla, the Prius, the Camry, RAV4 crossover, Lexus NC, and Lexus RX SUVs. Honda models also received the IIHS designation, with five different models listed out of the 38. When looking at the major automakers, only Ford was left out, with none of its vehicle models making the list.
Contact a Carlsbad Car Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you recently got hurt in a traffic collision in San Diego County, it is important to discuss your case with a Carlsbad car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the Walton Law Firm to speak with an advocate about filing a claim for compensation.
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(image courtesy of Sai Kiran Anagani)