Looking to get a new car this year? One of the biggest factors influencing people’s car purchases, especially if they have families, is the safety of the vehicle.
Today’s cars are getting safer than they’ve ever been, thanks in large part to the improved materials being used in building these vehicles and the advances in engineering and technology we have seen over the last decade. Now, you’ll find many high-tech active safety features included in even the base models of many vehicles, which you might not have seen in previous years.
Safety ranking methodology
There are several ways vehicles are ranked for safety in the market. Many buyers rely on crash test results from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to make their vehicle purchase decisions. The recent rankings released by U.S. News Best Cars combine the ratings from both of these organizations to form comprehensive safety scores.
The IIHS recently strengthened the requirements vehicles have to meet to be able to obtain Top Safety Pick+ score ratings in 2018—the premiere safety ratings offered by the organization. There were only 15 vehicles for 2018 that passed these extremely stringent tests to earn the TSP+ ranking.
So what’s different about the TSP+ vehicles this year? Many of the safety features of the past were taken into account with the changes to these rankings, but there were some stricter headlight performance standards taken into account this year. According to the President of the IIHS, Adrian Lund, headlights “have long been treated as design elements instead of the critical safety equipment that they are.” But this is something that is rapidly changing in terms of how organizations evaluate vehicle safety.
The IIHS’s TSP+ rankings this year also impose higher standards for protections for front passengers in small overlap front crashes. The crash tests used for these scenarios simulate collisions that occur on the vehicle’s front corner—the idea is to take more types of collisions into consideration to get a more comprehensive look at the vehicle’s safety.
So which brands performed the best in the recent IIHS safety rankings?
- Kia, Hyundai and Genesis (Korea, all share corporate ownership) had six total TSP+ vehicles
- Subaru (Japan) had four TSP+ vehicles
- Mercedes-Benz (Germany) had two TSP+ vehicles
- Toyota (Japan) had one TSP+ vehicle
- BMW (Germany) had one TSP+ vehicle
- Lincoln (United States) had one TSP+ vehicle
If you’re looking for the safest vehicles on the market this year, those are the automakers you’ll want to look into first. But of course, there are 47 other vehicles that still earned IIHS Top Safety Pick ratings, outside of the “plus” category, so there are still plenty of other options that will provide you with outstanding safety in a vehicle.
For more information about the standards used in IIHS and NHTSA safety ratings for automobiles, contact our body shop in Walnut, CA and we will be happy to answer any of your questions.
This post was written by Writer