2017 Top Safety Pick Winners
Every year the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) releases their “Top Safety Pick+” and “Top Safety Pick” vehicles. You can see the 2016 Top Safety Pick lists here. This year, 38 models earned the Top Safety Pick+ award and 44 vehicles earned a Top Safety Pick Award.
This new crop of award-winning vehicles had to pass even tougher standards than last year’s winners. This criteria included passing the new IIHS headlight evaluation test with a “good” or “acceptable” rating that was just launched this past year. It also includes having automatic braking technology, which has been on the criteria list since 2015. Seven of the 38 Pick+ winners earned a “good” headlight rating, and 21 had “standard” autobrake systems. According to IIHS the point of the accolade is to, “encourage manufacturers to offer state-of-the-art protection for people in crashes, along with features that help drivers avoid crashes in the first place.”
According to Adrian Lund, the IIHS president, the field of contenders this year is smaller than previous years because few cars actually have headlights that work well. To get a Top Safety Pick or Pick+ recognition, cars have to have the following:
- “Good” rating in the small overlap front
- “Moderate” in the overlap front & side
- “Moderate” roof strength and head restraint tests
- “Superior” front crash prevention with standard or optional autobrake
- Headlights are only factored in for the “Plus” recognition
Toyota and their Lexus brand had the most winners, with nine 2017 Top Safety Pick+ winners and Honda and their Acura brand had 5 Pick+ winners. Some car “bundles” omitted cars from the Top Safety Pick+ award. For example, the Infiniti Q70 and the Hyundai Tucson missed the award because you can’t have the car’s superior front-crash prevention system with the brakes that some models have that are considered acceptable. You have to get the poor headlights with superior autobrake, or the other way around, not both.
This list will help you make the safest choice when getting a new car. While, much of the time crashes are caused by user error, having a car that might help prevent these errors is definitely worth it.