Did you know that approximately half of all fatal crashes in the United States occur when it's dark?
That eerie statistic comes straight from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
This nonprofit organization recently put eight small pickup trucks through its rigorous testing process. To evaluate each vehicle's crashworthiness, these trucks went through five specific tests, which were head restraints & seats, roof strength, moderate front overlap, side, and small front overlap.
To earn the organization's prestigious Top Safety Pick distinction, a vehicle must earn the highest rating of good in each of the aforementioned tests, as well as earn a score of advanced or superior in the front crash prevention category.
However, to earn the organization's most prestigious honor of Top Safety Pick+, a vehicle has to meet all of those requirements, plus come with headlights that earn either a good or acceptable rating.
While four of the trucks recently tested by the IIHS earned a good overall rating from the IIHS in the difficult small front overlap crash test, not one of those small pickups received higher than a poor rating when it came to headlights.
"Headlights are basic but vital safety equipment," said David Zuby, the Institute's executive vice president and chief research officer. "Drivers shouldn't have to give up the ability to see the road at night when they choose a small pickup."
In case you were wondering, the eight small pickups that took part in the tests were the Toyota Tacoma Double Cab, Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab, GMC Canyon Crew Cab, Toyota Tacoma Access Cab, Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab, GMC Canyon Extended Cab, Nissan Frontier King Cab, and Nissan Frontier Crew Cab.
The Tacoma pickup is scheduled to come with upgraded headlights that will include high-beam assist for the 2018 model year.