Consumers looking for a new vehicle have a number of options. One person may be looking at a fuel efficient Toyota Prius, while another is looking at a luxury Mercedes Benz. The car industry provides thousands of extra gadgets to add onto a vehicle, but “standard” parts like tires, brakes, engines and lights shouldn’t be overlooked.
A study done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says that consumers need to take a closer look at the standard items on a vehicle. The study is taking particular aim at headlights—the gadgets we utilize daily to help us see along dark roads or increase visibility in dense fog, etc. While consumers are paying a pretty penny to get a luxury vehicle like the Mercedes C-Class or BMW 3 series, they are not receiving the best when it comes to lighting. These two classes of vehicles were voted the worse headlights on the market, while the Prius with LED headlights received the institute’s highest marks.
Although the government regulates how bright headlights should be there, are currently no standards for how far they should reach. The IIHS says that 330 feet on a straight path is a good indicator that your vehicle will be able to spot a hazard in the road and provide the driver enough reaction time while driving. The study found that only the Toyota Prius, with LED lights, meets this standard.
As consumers, we are more likely to pay attention to crash rating—which is all well and good, but we also need to review ALL of a vehicle’s features. Take into consideration that 90% of our driving is based on visibility. If we can’t see things, it doesn’t matter whether the car received a five (5) star crashworthiness rating or a three (3) star rating in rollover accidents because in either case you need to be able to see!
So if you are on the market for a new vehicle, keep in mind that even the standard features on a vehicle can make the biggest difference in preventing a car accident and ensuring the safety of you and your passengers!