Hyundai and Subaru Earn the Most IIHS Top Safety Picks for 2018

Hyundai and Subaru Earn the Most IIHS Top Safety Picks for 2018

In order to qualify, model-year 2018 vehicles now need to have good-rated headlights and get a good or acceptable rating in IIHS' newest evaluation, the passenger-side small overlap front crash test.

Most of the Top Safety Pick Plus Awards went to Hyundai Motor Company with 6 awards and Subaru with four.

Although IIHS's standards keep getting tougher each year, Lund says automakers are stepping up and making safety adjustments to a vehicle's structure and equipment list accordingly.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released its top vehicle safety picks for 2018. IIHS is now demanding better performance from auto makers when it comes to headlights and passenger protection in what are known as small overlap crashes - ones involving just the front corner of the vehicle. The institute said it devised a passenger-side small overlap front crash test because some manufacturers weren't paying enough attention to the issue.

Forty-seven vehicles made the institute's second tier Top Safety Pick for 2018 after it added a requirement for good or acceptable headlights to qualify - down from 50 a year ago.

The 2018 list of the safest vehicles is out, and just 15 earned the highest rating, down from 69 past year.

Headlights weren't factored in for the 2017 Top Safety Pick, and an acceptable headlight rating was enough to bump a 2017 award victor into the "plus" category.

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IIHS in October began evaluating the passenger side of vehicles in its small overlap front crash test after it said it became clear that automakers were neglecting that side of the vehicle as they focused on improving driver-side protections.

The Institute's headlight ratings also are relatively new, with the first ones released in March 2016.

The full list of Top Safety Pick winners is available here. The Crosstrek and Forester earn Top Safety Pick, also with option front-crash prevention and specific headlights.

Across manufacturers, the vast majority of winners qualify only when optionally equipped because front crash prevention and acceptable or good headlights aren't part of their base trims.

Automakers have pledged to make autobrake standard on virtually all passenger vehicles by 2022, but for now the technology remains mostly optional, especially on nonluxury brands.

"The improvements in occupant protection have been fantastic over the past decades", he said in a statement.

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