IIHS Releases 2018 Top Vehicle Safety Picks

IIHS Releases 2018 Top Vehicle Safety Picks

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is releasing its picks for the safest cars of 2018. It wasn't surprising that automakers acted more quickly to improve protection on the driver side than on the passenger side, and improving driver-side protection was arguably more urgent, since every vehicle on the road has a driver, while not every one has a passenger.

Of the hundreds of vehicle models on the road today, only 15 have earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating for 2018 due to tougher safety requirements when it comes to passenger side front collisions.

To earn the IIHS 2018 Top Safety Pick+ award a vehicle must receive a "Good" rating for five tests of high-speed front and side crash tests, a rollover test and evaluations of seat and head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts. The vehicles must also meet the previous requirements of scoring good in other crash tests and earning an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention. The institute said it devised a passenger-side small overlap front crash test because some manufacturers weren't paying enough attention to the issue.

"Most drivers when they buy a vehicle they think the passenger is going to be protected as well as they are, our new test is to try to achieve that", said IIHS President Adrian Lund.

Headlights weren't factored in for the 2017 Top Safety Pick, and an acceptable headlight rating was enough to bump a 2017 award victor into the "plus" category. It began measuring both how well low and high beams illuminated the road and the amount of glare they produce for oncoming vehicles as part of its ratings in 2016.

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Here is a link to all the top safety picks, which includes the reasons why they were chosen.

Overall, Hyundai posted six vehicles and Subaru four in the "Top Pick Plus" category.

The Crosstrek, Impreza, Legacy, Outback and WRX were top performers in the test according to IIHS and received its "Good" rating. Automakers have committed to making this technology standard by 2022.

The IIHS is also raising it's standards for headlights. "All automakers now recognize the important role of safety in consumer choice, and they are increasingly receptive to working with our engineers to understand the next steps in keeping people from harm in motor vehicle crashes and to make real changes in their vehicle designs".

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