When you purchase a new vehicle, safety is likely one of the top priorities
that you take into consideration when making your choice. However, if
you were to begin shopping for a new vehicle today, you might be surprised
to learn that just 15 vehicles currently make the list of "Top Safety
Pick+" according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
This means that of the literally hundreds of new models sitting in dealership
lots today, just a small handful actually receive top safety ratings.
Of all the options carmakers offer consumers, only a few get the highest
safety ratings available. Why do so few vehicles meet the highest standards
set by safety advocates?
The reason for this? New, stricter guidelines that were recently implemented
by the IIHS.
Higher Standards and Stricter Guidelines
Specifically, these new IIHS guidelines have shifted the focus to not just how well
drivers are protected in the event of a collision, but how well passengers in
the front seat and back seat are protected as well. Most of the changes
regarding standards and criteria are related to frontal collision tests,
such as those simulating a vehicle colliding with a pole, tree, or other
Aside from these new additions, it is worth noting that the existing requirements
for obtaining a "Top Safety Pick+" designation remain unchanged.
For example, vehicles must still receive high ratings in a number of other
- roof strength
- head restraint
- driver's side small and moderate overlap
- frontal crash
- advanced safety feature performance.
This is the first year the IIHS has included testing for not just driver's
side small overlap, but front-passenger overlap as well. During this test,
the vehicle is accelerated to a speed of 40 miles per hour before colliding
with a metal barrier on the front passenger's side. The purpose of
this test is to demonstrate how well a car's cabin is able to absorb
force from a serious impact and protect passengers.
So, what was the main reason for implementation of these changes by IIHS?
They have claimed the changes were put into place as a means of encouraging
auto makers to focus more of their efforts on making sure a vehicle's
passengers are just as protected as their drivers.
As it stands, many car buyers make the assumption that if a car receives
great driver's side safety ratings, all other passengers in the vehicle
are just as safe. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. Because of
these stricter requirements for receiving the coveted "Top Safety
Pick+" designation, it's likely that there will be some major
changes and upgrades in vehicle safety across the board within the next
What Are Some of the Safer Cars on the Market?
And, of course, in the meantime, vehicle manufacturers that have focused
and passenger safety from the start are being rewarded with "Top Safety
Pick+" designations. Some of the 2018 models that have made this
small list include:
- Toyota Camry
- Kia Forte Sedan
- Hyundai Santa Fe/Sport
- Lincoln Continental
- Kia Soul.
It's also worth noting that while only a handful of vehicles have received
the "Top Safety Pick+" rating, there are still nearly 50 vehicles
that received the designation of "Top Safety Pick" by the IIHS.
The requirements for receiving this are slightly less strict than the
"plus" rating; but, of course, those in the market for the safest
vehicle currently on the market should stick to the list of "Top
Safety Pick+" options.
In the future, car manufacturers will have no choice but to improve their
safety features for passengers if they want to remain competitive in today's
market. In the meantime, buyers should do their homework when it comes
to selecting vehicles that meet the strictest current standards for safety.
All of this, in addition to practicing safe driving, can reduce one's
risk of being injured in an accident. Unfortunately, one aspect beyond
your control is the action of other drivers. Negligent driving by another
driver can still result in a serious accident that affects you and perhaps
even the passengers in your vehicle.
Have You Been Injured in an Accident?
If you have any questions about this topic or believe that someone else’s
negligence or recklessness is responsible for your injuries, the attorneys
at Stabinski Law can help. For 45 years, we have been the
trusted advocates for countless personal injury victims and their families
throughout South Florida. We offer risk-free consultations and work on
a contingency basis, which means that we do not require you to pay any
fees until we have secured a recovery on your behalf. Contact us today
by calling 305-964-8644 or filling out a
free case evaluation form to find out how we can help you.