The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety released its list of 72 Top Safety Pick award winners yesterday. Compared with 2008, the number of vehicles receiving the award has doubled-a sign that automakers are upping the ante when it comes to crash protection and safety.
Ford, together with its subsidiary Volvo, has 16 winners, including the new-for-2009 Lincoln MKS and redesigned 2009 Ford F-150 pickup. Honda and its Acura division have 13 winners, and, along with Subaru have at least one Top Safety Pick in each segment in which they compete. All five of Acura's models, including the redesigned TL, received a Top Safety Pick award.
According to the IIHS, 84 percent of passenger cars, 99 percent of SUVs, and 23 percent of pickup trucks in the 2009 model year are equipped with airbags offering head protection. 74 percent of passenger cars, 99 percent of SUVs, and 37 percent of pickup trucks in the 2009 model year are also equipped with electronic stability control-a safety feature which the IIHS claims helps reduce fatal single-vehicle crashes by 50 percent and fatal rollover crashes by 70 percent.
The IIHS rates each vehicle Good, Acceptable, Marginal, or Poor in three categories: 40 mph frontal offset crash test, side impact crash test, and rear crash protection/head restraint ratings. In order to qualify for the award, vehicles must achieve a rating of Good in all three categories, and have electronic stability control available. The fact that 72 vehicles qualified-with winners in almost every vehicle segment-is an astounding achievement for the industry.
The full article with the list of all 72 vehicles can be found at the IIHS website.