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Quality of vehicle headlights under scrutiny after new report

Posted at 9:59 PM, Nov 29, 2018

After a rainy few days throughout the Central Coast and days getting darker earlier, many are using their headlights, but not all headlights are created equal.

Across the country, more than half of all car crash fatalities occur at night. Almost 25 percent occur on unlit roads.

Headlights are rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Even in 2018, many vehicles have poor or marginal ratings when it comes to tools used to light up the road.

“About half of the models we tested don’t have adequate headlights that provide enough visibility for the driver,” said David Aylor, manager of active safety testing at IIHS.

Safety is not standard. “Good” rated headlights are not required by law and are often only available when bundled into luxury packages that can raise prices by thousands of dollars.

Of the 424 headlight versions tested by the Insurance Institute, 67 percent earned a “marginal” or “poor” rating.

Next time you are in search of a vehicle, test drive it at night and take a look at its headlight safety online.

Toyota and its luxury brand, Lexus, offer the most vehicles with either “good” or “acceptable” headlight ratings.

Popular vehicles like the new Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado only offer poor-rated headlights

Chevy declined NBC News’ request for comment. Ford has yet to respond.

You can find your vehicle’s rating here.

NBC News contributed to this story.