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Which vehicles are the safest?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently listed the safest vehicles on the market. IIHS releases a similar list each year, but this year’s list is a little different.

IIHS has always used scores from a variety of safety tests to determine their top-ranked vehicles. However, this year’s list puts a special emphasis on pedestrian and passenger safety.

How does IIHS decide which cars are safest?

The new emphasis on pedestrian safety may help prevent pedestrian deaths, which have become increasingly common. Throughout the nation, 53% more pedestrians were killed in 2018 than were killed in 2009.

It is important to note that the new emphasis on pedestrian and passenger safety is in addition to their usual crash tests. IIHS’s crash test criteria has even gotten tougher for those traditional tests. By raising their standards, IIHS may encourage automakers to continue improving the safety of their new models.

A vehicle’s overall score depends on its scores in the following nine tests:

  • Moderate overlap front
  • Side
  • Head restraints and seats
  • Roof
  • Driver-side small overlap front
  • Passenger-side small overlap front
  • Front vehicle-to-vehicle crash prevention
  • Front vehicle-to-pedestrian crash prevention
  • Headlights

Which vehicles won awards?

IIHS gives out two types of awards. The main difference between the Top Safety Pick Award and the Top Safety Pick Plus Award is the headlights. To earn a Top Safety Pick Plus Award, acceptable or good headlights must be standard in all variations of the model.

64 vehicles qualified for awards this year. Mazda has five Top Safety Pick Plus awards and one Top Safety Pick Award. Hyundai Motor Group has 14 Top Safety Pick awards and three Top Safety Pick Plus awards. Hyundai Motor Group includes Hyundai, Kia and Genesis brands. Fiat Chrysler and Mitsubishi did not have any vehicles earn awards this year.

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