Rather than design elements, Lund said headlights should be treated as safety features to help avoid a crash at night.
But, even as it announces its top safety picks for 2018, an agency that evaluates vehicle safety says automakers can do even better.
The awarded vehicles went through a number of crash tests to show they can protect occupants in front-, side-, rollover and rear-impact collisions, as well as tests of their emergency braking systems.
The 2018 Toyota Camry was one of only 15 vehicles to meet the criteria for the TPS+ award, while six other Toyota models and four Lexus models qualified for the regular TPS award, including the Toyota Avalon, Corolla, Prius, Prius Prime, RAV4, and Highlander. In addition to the 15 "Top Pick Plus" designees, there were 47 "Top Pick" vehicles. Toyota had the most vehicles on the top safety pick with 10 winning the award.
Fifteen vehicles earned the IIHS's top safety pick award including several of Hyundai's Kia and Genesis models.
"Toyota and Lexus remain committed to providing safe and reliable vehicles and we're proud to have Toyota Safety Sense and Lexus Safety System+ as standard equipment on nearly every new model in our line-up".More news: Messi wants Higuain in Argentina's SWC squad
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"We've been doing small overlap frontal crash tests on the driver's side since 2012 and we've seen a lot of improvement on that side, but we weren't seeing that kind of improvement for passengers, said IIHS president Adrian Lund". All models received a "Superior" rating in front crash prevention when equipped with EyeSight.
"Drivers expect that their passengers, who are often family, will be protected just as well as they are", Lund said.
However, there is a problem with the rankings overall.
The group crashed brand new vehicles at speeds of 40 miles per hour in the pursuit of safety.
Headlights that effectively light up the road are another area where the IIHS has raised its standards.