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Being able to see the road when you drive is sort of an essential part of driving. It’s why car companies make windshields so big. It’s also why cars have headlights, and we don’t just drive around blindly like bats, sending out sonar signals. Headlights are a huge part of car safety. Let’s look at some of the pickup trucks with the worst headlights.

A blue 2021 Chevy Silverado races down the highway.
2021 Chevy Silverado | Chevrolet

Half of all fatal crashes occur in the dark, according to the IIHS. More than a quarter of those crashes happen on unlit roads. As you might imagine, headlights come in handy on unlit roads, unless you have night vision (and you don’t, unless you’re Iron Man).

Just the fact that a vehicle has headlights doesn’t mean that they’re any good. Headlights have to be bright enough and even point in the right direction to be optimal. Curve-adaptive headlights are fantastic, and help headlights illuminate the path in front of them even around turns and bends in the road. 

To make matters more complicated, there’s no consistency surrounding the rules about headlights. That means headlights can vary from poor to good (with marginal and adequate in between). Headlight ratings can keep an otherwise safe vehicle from receiving a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ award. 

Because of that, many car manufacturers are making their headlights stronger. Yet these three pickup trucks with the worst headlights might as well not have any at all. Let’s take a look at what they are. 

The 2021 Nissan Titan is one of the pickups with the worst headlights

A black 2021 Nissan Titan races down the highway. The Titan is one of the pickups with the worst headlights.
2021 Nissan Titan | Nissan

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated two kinds of Nissan Titans, and they both have poor headlights. Whether you want the crew cab pickup or the extended cab pickup, anything built after September 2020 is bad news. 

In its review of the Titan’s headlights, it noted that visibility ranged from fair to inadequate. The low beams created excessive glare, which might make oncoming cars look like they’re haloed in an angelic glow. That might be kind of cool, but it’s probably not safe.

The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado also has poor headlights

A black 2021 Chevy Silverado on a grassy bank. The Silverado is one of the pickups with the worst headlights.
2021 Chevy Silverado | Chevrolet

If you buy the 2021 Chevy Silverado, you’ll be able to see as well as a newborn kitten when you’re driving at night. The IIHS rated five different trim levels of the Silverado, and they’re all poor. 

One particularly low point in the IIHS’ review of the Silverado’s headlights is how they do around sharp curves. The IIHS found that visibility was inadequate on the sharp left and right curves. This is fine as long as you live on the Audobon. 

The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 wouldn’t be on this list if it had good headlights

A gray 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 drives up a gravel hill. The Sierra is one of the pickups with the worst headlights.
2021 GMC Sierra 1500 | GMC

You knew this was coming. The IIHS rated four variations of the GMC Sierra 1500’s headlights and they’re all poor. 

The IIHS found that the Sierra’s headlights were inadequate in all four tests that measure how they do on curves. They created some glare. However, the high beams did compensate for some of their shortcomings, so if you drive around with your high beams on all the time, your visibility will be better. Of course, everyone else’s will be worse. 

If you want good headlights on a pickup truck, you can look at the 2021 Dodge Ram, which has headlight options ranging from marginal to good. There’s also…no, that’s it. The 2021 Dodge Ram was the only truck rated by the IIHS with good headlights. It’s also a Top Safety Pick, so if you have your heart set on a pickup truck and you value the ability to see, check it out. 


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