The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick award for 2010 goes to 19 cars and eight SUVs. And for the first time, the vehicles were tested on roof strength, to measure protection in a rollover. Top Safety Pick winners also must have electronic stability control, which research shows significantly reduces crash risk. This is the second time the Institute has tightened criteria since announcing the first recipients in 2005.
According to the IIHS report out today, Subaru is the only manufacturer with a winner in all four vehicle classes. The automaker earns five awards for 2010, followed by Ford and Volvo, coming in with six winners. Volkswagen/Audi has five, and Chrysler follows with four awards. Two new small cars, the Nissan Cube and Kia Soul, join the Top Safety Pick list for 2010.
The new requirement for strong roofs are in response to the fact that rollovers kill more than 9,000 people in passenger vehicles each year. The Institute estimates that stronger roofs reduce the risk of serious and fatal injury in single-vehicle rollovers by about 50 percent compared with roofs meeting the minimum requirement.
(Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)