Annually, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety chooses car models to win its Top Safety Pick award. This award recognizes car designs that provide for the best protection in front, side, and rear collisions. The award is based on a series of safety tests the institute performs.
In this article, we're going to provide the award list, along with information from the federal government and their top rated cars in terms of safety. As consumers, we should expect cars to deliver us at least two benefits. The first is to reliably move us across the roadways. The second is that a car should be a safe one to drive. In this instance, safety includes both performance and protection.
In terms of safe performance, we're talking about equipment installed in cars that result in the vehicle being able to hold the road, which helps drivers to avoid accidents. We talk about these features at the end of this article.
In terms of protection, we're talking about how well an automobile is able to protect those riding in the vehicle. In other words, does the car's design help to prevent passengers in the vehicle from sustaining serious injuries?
These two elements are important when designing a vehicle. In fact, if a car could be designed to avoid accidents in the first place, then manufacturers wouldn't have to worry about protecting passengers involved in accidents.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is an organization dedicated to reducing the losses from highway accidents. The institute was established by automobile insurance companies that were interested in taking a scientific approach to reducing the loss of life and property on the roadways of America.
Based on the protocol developed by the Institute, 2016 and 2017 model cars were tested and rated to develop a Top Safety Pick award. The following lists of cars are considered the safest on the road today, based on the findings of the Institute.
Note: Where applicable, includes optional front crash prevention.
The institute evaluates a car's safety performance based on frontal offset impacts at 40 miles per hour, a side impact test, and two rear impacts at 20 miles per hour. Injury is determined by examining two dummies, one in the driver's side, and a second in the rear seat behind the driver. A vehicle also needs good performance in a roof strength test, which is used to measure protection in a rollover.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also publishes a list of cars with excellent safety ratings. In fact, they even have a database that allows users to do a search based on make and model year. The NHTSA evaluates cars and light trucks in three areas: frontal crashes, side impacts, and rollover ratings.
Consumers that are really trying to find a safe car to drive might also want to check out our article: Car Safety Features, which has additional information on the different types of equipment available in today's cars.
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