Good or acceptable headlights need to be standard equipment next year for a vehicle to qualify for the highest award available from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
In addition, front crash prevention that earns at least an advanced rating in both the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations will have to be available for the Top Safety Pick+ award. Previously, only the vehicle-to-vehicle rating was required.
IIHS said the front crash prevention requirements will also apply to the second tier of awards, Top Safety Pick. Available good or acceptable headlights will be required for that award too, though, like this year, they won’t need to be standard.
Both awards will require good crashworthiness ratings across the board. In 2019, an acceptable rating in the passenger-side test was sufficient for a Top Safety Pick award.
“As we do nearly every year, we’re making it a little tougher to earn our awards,” said IIHS Chief Research Officer David Zuby. “We hope these changes will encourage automakers to stop equipping vehicles with inferior headlights and speed the adoption of technology that can help protect pedestrians.”
The first 2020 award winners will be announced early next year.