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IIHS Awards Top Safety Pick Score to 71 New Vehicles

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author photo by Doug DeMuro January 2015
  • 71 different vehicles earned IIHS's top safety designation this year
  • The firm says cars are getting safer as automakers try to ace its tests
  • The nonprofit IIHS carries out tests on a multitude of new cars each year

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has officially awarded its prestigious Top Safety Pick designation to 71 different vehicles of the 2015 model year. That's the latest from the nonprofit group, which carries out its own crash tests separate from the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

According to the IIHS, the 71 Top Safety Pick ratings nearly doubled last year's total, which included just 39 new vehicles. The firm also awarded several new Top Safety Pick+ ratings, in spite of tougher rating standards. That suggests modern cars are getting safer, with automakers paying more attention to crashworthiness and occupant protection.

More importantly, however, it suggests that automakers are engineering their cars to beat the IIHS's tests, which is good news for drivers interested in safer vehicles. Recent IIHS tests have especially focused on front impact protection and automatic braking systems, two areas where automakers are especially taking major strides.

"The quest for Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards is driving improvement in the small-overlap front crash test and getting manufacturers to offer automatic braking technology on more and more vehicles," notes IIHS President Adrian Lund. The data seems to back up his claim, as more cars are acing the firm's small-overlap front test than ever before.

Though it's a nonprofit organization, the IIHS is funded by insurance companies with the goal of improving automotive safety in new vehicles. Its battery of crash tests includes front-impact, side-impact and roof-strength assessments.

What it means to you: The IIHS is improving the safety of modern vehicles, one crash test at a time.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
IIHS Awards Top Safety Pick Score to 71 New Vehicles - Autotrader