PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested 37 mid-size SUV’s. Only two, the Volvo XC60 and Hyundai Santa Fe, received a “Good” rating.
“There are about 11 more than have acceptable headlight ratings and all the rest are marginal or poor,” Matthew Brumbelow, senior research engineer at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Here’s a comparison between the Volvo XC60, which scored “Good,” versus the Kia Sorento with a poor rating.
The driver of the Sorento can’t see a person on the roadway just 100 feet ahead or a pair of deer 200 feet away, compared to the Volvo XC60, in which both are clearly visible.
“I need adequate visibility if I’m going to see an obstacle or pedestrian and come to a stop in time,” Brumbelow says.
The institute has a simple solution for owners of vehicles that aren’t among the best performers: high beams,” Don Champion of CBS News says,
“To get that best visibility, we’re really encouraging people even in the poor performing vehicle to use their high beams as much as they can,” Brumbelow says.
Another problem is glare.
Researchers found a striking difference even between similar models.
Here is the glare produced by Hyundai Sante Fe Sport on the left with a poor rating compared to the Hyundai Santa Fe on the right with a good rating.
The institute started testing vehicle headlights last year and says auto makers are listening to the findings.
“We see promising signs of improvement, but we know that there is a lot more to come,” Brumbelow says.