The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is pushing automakers toward safer crash tests ratings with their latest Top Safety Pick+ awards.
"We've seen automakers make structural and restraint changes in response to our small overlap test," Lund says. "Five manufacturers redesigned their midsize cars to enhance small overlap crash protection."
In 2012, the IIHS introduced the small overlap test to its Top Safety Pick designation to improve occupant protection in frontal crashes. The IIHS evaluates cars on moderate overlap frontal crash, small overlap frontal crash, side impact and rollover, along with seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts. The institute issues a rating of good, acceptable, marginal or poor on each test. In order to be awarded the Top Safety Pick+ designation, a vehicle must score a good or better in four of the five evaluations, as well as receive a rating no less than acceptable on the fifth rating.
So far, the IIHS has named 13 cars worthy of the Top Safety Pick+ awards, along with 117 additional vehicles that were named Top Safety Picks. For those buying a new car, the Subaru Forester and Legacy were given the coveted Top Safety Pick+ award, while all other Subaru models were named Top Safety Picks.