How Safe is Your Next Car?

Thinking about a new car? If you factor safety into your choice (most people do), then you’ll want to know what vehicles aced crash tests and are considered the safest to buy.

From minicars and sedans to SUVs and pickups, you’ll find hundreds of 2012 models deemed safe by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Each year the nonprofit research and education organization determines which vehicles do the best job of protecting people in four of the most common kinds of crashes — front, side, rollover and rear — based on ratings in Institute evaluations. The ratings help shoppers pick vehicles that offer the highest levels of crash protection.

Every major automaker has at least one winner that earned the Institute’s esteemed Top Safety Pick award. Among the 115 award winners, there are 18 new recipients this year, while 97 models that previously qualified for the 2011 award carry over to 2012.

The Winners’ Circle

Here’s a breakdown of some of this year’s qualifiers:
  • The Toyota Camry earned its first-ever Top Safety Pick. Last year, the Camry missed the mark because of a marginal rating for seat/head restraints. Camry is a top-selling midsize car in the U.S. market.
  • Subaru remains the only manufacturer with the distinction of earning awards for every model it builds. Subaru picked up five awards, including one for the redesigned Impreza, a small car.
  • Ten of the 18 new winners are Honda/Acura models, including the midsize Accord, a top U.S. seller, which previously won the 2009 award but has been missing from the list since then. The manufacturer upgraded the roofs on the 10 models to improve rollover protection.
  • Toyota/Lexus/Scion has 15 winners this year, more than any other auto manufacturer.
  • General Motors has 14 winners, followed by Volkswagen/Audi with 13, and Ford/Lincoln and Honda/Acura with 12 awards apiece.
  • The winning green models include Toyota’s Prius v, the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf.

For more information about the Top Safety Pick awards and the winning models, go to iihs.org. If you have questions about about insurance coverage for a new vehicle, contact us for a quote.