Canadian Underwriter

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety names top safety pick vehicles

January 4, 2013   by Canadian Underwriter

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced that 13 vehicles were recently awarded its Top Safety Pick+ award, which went to 2013 automobiles with high scores in IIHS tests.


To be named a Top Safety Pick+, the vehicles must be rated as having good occupant protection in at least four of five IIHS evaluations, and not less than acceptable in the fifth test. They must also attain scores of good or acceptable in IIHS’s small overlap test, introduced this year.

“The small overlap test replicates what happens when the front corner of a car collides with another vehicle or an object like a tree or utility pole,” Arlington, Va.-based IIHS stated in a press release. “In the test, 25% of a car’s front end on the driver side strikes a five-foot (1.5-metre)-tall rigid barrier at 40 miles per hour (60 km/h). A Hybrid III dummy representing a 50th percentile male is belted in the driver seat.”

As of Dec. 20, IIHS had evaluated 29 models in that test and named the 13 models which it says provide “the highest level of all-around crash protection.”

Read the full list of vehicles here: Top Safety Pick+ 

Chrysler Group LLC was recognized for two of its cars, the Dodge Avenger and the Chrysler 200 four-doors.

“Both vehicles feature advanced multi-stage, front-passenger air bags; front-seat side air bags; electronic stability control with electronic traction control; four-wheel anti-lock brakes; supplemental side-curtain air bags and the LATCH child-seat anchor system,” Chrysler states in a press release.

Two models of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.’s Subaru, the Legacy and Outback, made the Top Safety Pick+, for vehicles made after August, 2012.

Honda Motor Co. was recognized for both the two and four-door Honda Accords, plus the Acura TL.

The other vehicles in this category were Kia Motors Corp.’s Optima, the Nissan Altima (four-doors built after November 2012), Volkswagen Passats built after October, 2012, the Volvo S60, the Suzuki Kizashi and Ford Fusions built after December, 2012.

IIHS is an non-profit organization that aims to reduce losses from auto collisions. It is supported by several insurance carriers plus the American Insurance Association, the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.


“Most automakers design their vehicles for good performance in the IIHS moderate overlap frontal test and the (U.S.) government’s full-width frontal test, but many haven’t addressed the problem of small overlap crashes,” IIHS stated in its release. “In a 2009 IIHS study of vehicles with good ratings for frontal crash protection, small overlap crashes accounted for nearly a quarter of the frontal crashes involving serious or fatal injury to front seat occupants.”

In addition to the small overlap test, IIHS also rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in a moderate overlap frontal crash, side impact and rollover. It also conducted evaluations of seat and head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

In addition to the vehicles awarded 13 Top Safety Pick+ IIHS awarded an additional 117 additional vehicles Top Safety Pick.