Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

IIHS Taps 64 Models as Top Safety Picks for 2018

IIHS Taps 64 Models as Top Safety Picks for 2018

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is out with its top safety picks for 2018 and the head of that agency says the results of its crash tests are good news for the driving public.

Most of the Top Safety Pick Plus Awards went to Hyundai Motor Company with 6 awards and Subaru with four.

"We've been doing small overlap frontal crash tests on the driver's side since 2012 and we've seen a lot of improvement on that side, but we weren't seeing that kind of improvement for passengers, said IIHS president Adrian Lund".

Hyundai finished a close second with nine models, including the Santa Fe, Kia Forte sedan and Kia Soul.

Only 15 vehicles qualified for what the institute calls its Top Safety Pick+. Mercedes-Benz has two while Toyota, BMW, and Ford have one each.

Fifteen vehicles earned the IIHS's top safety pick award including several of Hyundai's Kia and Genesis models.

The requirements for the highest-tier were strengthened to include good-rated headlights and good or acceptable passenger-side protection in small overlap front crashes, the IIHS said. Check out the full list of models that qualify.

Headlights also had to perform to standards in another new test in order to earn top ratings. It's similar to the existing small front overlap test, a rigorous evaluation that crashes a vehicle into a barrier at 40 miles per hour with just 25 percent of the driver-side front end striking the obstacle.

The first official passenger-side ratings were released in October, following research tests a year ago.

"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.

IIHS is placing more emphasis on the impact of headlights on the safety rating of new vehicles. However, IIHS notes that the vast majority of the award-winners qualify only when optionally equipped because front crash prevention systems and acceptable or good headlights aren't often part of the base trims.

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