The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has announced its Top Safety Picks for 2018. The fifteen cars and SUVs earned the highest honors from the agency despite stiffened requirements introduced this year.
The IIHS is a non-profit organization funded by auto insurers. The organization was established in 1959 and works to evaluate vehicles’ crashworthiness (how well a vehicle protects its occupants in a crash) and crash avoidance and mitigation (the use of technology and features that can prevent or lessen the severity of a crash).
Despite advances in technology in recent years, the U.S. has actually seen increases in the number of crash-related deaths, noting a 5.6% increase in 2016 that resulted in a nine-year-high death toll of 37,461.
In light of the increase in traffic fatalities, the IIHS has adopted more stringent requirements for their top safety rating. In order to meet the designation of “Top Safety Pick Plus”, vehicles must have higher-rated headlights than previous years and must receive a solid performance on a new crash test.
This year, only 12 cars and three SUVs achieved the highest rank of “Top Safety Pick Plus” in the organizations first round of ratings with another 47 vehicles being designated “Top Safety Picks.”