2021 Ford F-150’s Improved Headlights Lead to Improved Safety Rating


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2021 Ford F-150 pickup truck a Top Safety Pick thanks to improvements made to some of the truck’s headlight options compared with the 2020 model. The award is the safety agency’s second highest designation, and it applies only to crew-cab and extended-cab models built after June and equipped with the good-rated adaptive LED projector headlights or acceptable-rated LED reflector headlights. (Some models remain poor-rated and are excluded from the agency’s Top Safety Pick designation.)

Related: Here’s Every Car That Earned an IIHS Top Safety Award for 2021

To earn Top Safety Pick Plus status, the F-150 achieved good scores across all six crash safety tests: driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints and seats. It also earned a superior rating in front crash prevention in preventing both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian collisions (on a scale of superior, advanced, basic or none). The F-150’s standard system as well as one of its optional systems earned the superior rating, although one of its optional systems, the camera-and-radar Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0, earned an advanced rating. 

Lastly, headlights are a factor and played a key role in the F-150’s score for 2021. To earn the Top Safety Pick award, a vehicle must have at least one good or acceptable headlight system available. On the 2021 F-150,several trim levels, but not all, have good- or acceptable-rated headlights, which wasn’t the case for the 2020 model. In 2020, three different headlight variations received poor ratings.

To earn IIHS’s highest safety honor, the Top Safety Pick Plus designation, a model must have good or acceptable headlights standard on all trims. According to IIHS, the F-150’s halogen reflector lights on XL, XLT and Tremor models built after June earn a poor rating; the agency said visibility was inadequate on both sides of the road during straightaway testing and on curves.

According to IIHS, the only other large pickup to earn a 2021 award from the agency is the Ram 1500.

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