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Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Releases Latest List of Safest Vehicles

08 December 2017

To earn the awards, vehicles go through a number of crash tests to show they can protect occupants in front, side, rollover and rear impact collisions as well as testing automatic emergency breaking systems. With 15 of those earning its highest award despite tougher criteria requiring better headlights and enhanced passenger side protection. It wasn't surprising that automakers acted more quickly to improve protection on the driver side than on the passenger side, and improving driver-side protection was arguably more urgent, since every vehicle on the road has a driver, while not every one has a passenger.

"Drivers expect that their passengers, who are often family, will be protected just as well as they are", IIHS President Adrian Lund said in a statement.

Rather than design elements, Lund said headlights should be treated as safety features to help avoid a crash at night.

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The 2018 Toyota Camry was one of only 15 vehicles to meet the criteria for the TPS+ award, while six other Toyota models and four Lexus models qualified for the regular TPS award, including the Toyota Avalon, Corolla, Prius, Prius Prime, RAV4, and Highlander. Models from a wider range of vehicle types earn TOP SAFETY PICK, but there are no minicars in that category either.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released its list of the safest vehicles for 2018.

Vehicles that come with autobraking also earn high marks.

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The Crosstrek, Impreza, Legacy, Outback and WRX were top performers in the test according to IIHS and received its "Good" rating.

The vast majority of award winners only qualify when optionally equipped with front crash prevention and acceptable or good headlights aren't part of their base trims, the institute said.

The IIHS is also raising it's standards for headlights. Automakers have committed to making this technology standard by 2022.

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Forty-seven vehicles made the institute's second tier Top Safety Pick for 2018 after it added a requirement for good or acceptable headlights to qualify - down from 50 previous year. If the pattern holds, they'll have to score a good rating next year to make the 2019 list.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Releases Latest List of Safest Vehicles