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Truck Headlights Don't Shine In Latest Tests

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Pick up trucks may be among the biggest vehicles on the road, but a new round of testing found they don't shine when it comes to their headlights.

Over his lifetime, Tom Evans has owned nearly a dozen trucks. He said the headlights on his latest, a Ram 1500, are not like any of the others.

"It's supposed to be more direct beam, spotlight effect. These seem to be diffused out a little bit," said Evans.

The lights on Evans' truck got a 'marginal' in the latest round of testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety which evaluated the lights on the 11 most popular trucks on the road.

The testing involved the amount of light a truck provided as it traveled straight and on curves.

The Honda Ridgeline was the only truck to earn a 'Good' rating, the Chevrolet Colorado was at the bottom of the list for clear visibility.

Read: Truck Headlights Test Results 

"Some headlights even properly aimed aren't going to provide a wide enough distribution of light across the road to allow drivers to see what they need to," said Matthew Brumbelow, a senior research engineer at the institute.

Researchers say poorly designed headlights can also create dangerous conditions for drivers in oncoming traffic. For example, headlights that cause glare may temporarily blind drivers. The IIHS also factored in the truck's high beams, LED lights and reflectors in their evaluations.

Evans said after getting his truck, he did make an alteration.

"I supplement it with running lights or fog lights which are actually closer to the ground which will light up the ground in front of the vehicle," he said.

The IIHS said most automakers are already trying out new technology to make improvements. Earlier this year the group tested mid-size cars and SUVs and found most of those vehicles also had poorly rated headlights.


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