Every year the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) picks the safest vehicles on the road. For 2017, a total of 82 cars made the list with 38 earning top honors as “safety pick+”. But, just what criteria does the IIHS evaluate when picking the the safest cars of 2017?
The IIHS is a non-profit organization, independent of any government agency or vehicle manufacturer, that is dedicated to reducing injury, death, and property damage on the nation’s roads. The IIHS is supported by both auto insurance providers and various insurance associations.
IIHS evaluates both the crashworthiness of vehicles (how well they protect occupants) and crash avoidance and mitigation technology (systems that can prevent a crash or lessen severity). There are 5 types of tests conducted by the IIHS to determine crashworthiness: moderate overlap front, small overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints. For crash avoidance technology, vehicles are evaluated and rated as basic, advanced, or superior.
In 2016 the IIHS also began evaluating vehicle headlights and rating as good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.
Interestingly, vehicle cost does not always correlate to a higher rating by IIHS. Many of the 38 pick+ vehicles are highly affordable cars and SUV’s, including the Hyundai Elantra, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Honda Pilot, Nissan Rogue, and Toyota Corolla. The only pickup to earn a spot on the list is the new Honda Pilot (a unit-body based vehicle).
Learn more about the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the safest cars of 2017 at IIHS website. Also, check out the video released by IIHS regarding the top 38 pick+ vehicles: