Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Just 15 vehicles met tougher criteria for 2018 IIHS safety picks

Just 15 vehicles met tougher criteria for 2018 IIHS safety picks

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

With new tougher standards in place for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's coveted "2018 Top Pick Plus" rating, just 15 vehicles earned the distinction compared with 38 for 2017.

Safety tests this year included a passenger-side crash test, a first for the IIHS award.

Subaru had the most Safety Pick+ vehicles. Hyundai, also the owner of the Kia and Genesis brands, produced six models earning the top award, while Subaru has four, the IIHS said in announcing its annual list.

The Kia Forte sedan was awarded a Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS.

Fifteen vehicles earned the group's highest award of Top Safety Pick+, which is lower than a year ago.

"Toyota and Lexus remain committed to providing safe and reliable vehicles and we're proud to have Toyota Safety Sense and Lexus Safety System+ as standard equipment on nearly every new model in our line-up".

Fifteen vehicles qualified for the Top Safety Pick Plus Award from the institute after the requirements were strengthened to include good-rated headlights and good or acceptable passenger-side protection in small overlap front crashes.

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

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. In order to meet the top ranking, and in some instances, simply being a "Top Pick", the vehicle must be upgraded.

An additional 47 vehicles earned the Top Safety Pick rating.

The Institute's headlight ratings also are relatively new, with the first ones being released in March 2016.

Lund said Toyota leads the way in making crash avoidance technology standard equipment.

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