Each year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awards vehicle safety honors to models that offer advanced crash prevention and protection features. While it may seem like you hear a lot about automobile recalls in the news, IIHS officials are confident that vehicles have never been safer.
Each year, the IIHS makes it more difficult for a vehicle to be rated a TOP SAFETY PICK. In 2016, 48 models met the highest TOP SAFETY PICK+ criteria. Another 13 were awarded TOP SAFETY PICK honors.
To be on the TOP SAFETY PICK list, a vehicle must have at least a “basic” rated front crash prevention system and a “good” rating in the tough small overlap crash test. The small overlap crash test is important because about a quarter of serious and fatal injuries that occur in frontal crashes occur in these types of collisions. In order to earn a good rating, the vehicle’s front end must manage the crash energy so that the occupant compartment stays in tact to minimize the injury risk to the driver inside.
TOP SAFETY PICK+ is the top level award offered by the IIHS. To qualify, a vehicle must earn a “good” rating in all five IIHS crash worthiness tests and must have an “advanced” or “superior” rating for front crash prevention. That means it has to have an effective automatic braking system available, at least as an option. If a vehicle senses an imminent collision and the driver isn’t reacting, then the system kicks in to automatically brake the vehicle to prevent the crash, or at least to reduce the severity.
In 2016, Toyota leads the way among all manufacturers with nine TOP SAFETY PICK+ winners, including the popular Camry. Other stand-outs include Honda, Subaru, Volkswagen/Audi, and Volvo.
The IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK ratings emphasize both crash avoidance and crash worthiness in an attempt to help consumers zero in on the top safety performers without having to sort through a lot of individual test results. The goal is to encourage technology that can prevent the crash in the first place, like automatic braking, and vehicles that will better protect you and your family if a crash does happen. Because we see the outcome of serious auto accidents on a regular basis, Jones & Swanson urges consumers to keep these safety ratings in mind when in the market for a vehicle. Safety should be the number one priority, no matter what other perks you must forego. For more information on important vehicle safety visits, call our office at (770) 427-5498 today.