A Top Safety Pick Plus vehicle earned a good rating in crash tests and roof strength, and high marks for crash avoidance technology. "Manufacturers have been taking this issue seriously since we first shed light on it, and we're confident that good small overlap protection will become the norm on the passenger side, just as it has on the driver side".
"Most drivers when they buy a auto they think the passenger is going to be protected as well as they are".
The 2018 list of the safest vehicles is out, and just 15 earned the highest rating, down from 69 past year.
The Top Safety Pick+ winners are listed below.
The 2018 Toyota Camry was one of only 15 vehicles to meet the criteria for the TPS+ award, while six other Toyota models and four Lexus models qualified for the regular TPS award, including the Toyota Avalon, Corolla, Prius, Prius Prime, RAV4, and Highlander.
The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety says it's raising the bar for automakers, creating tougher test criteria to make sure vehicles can protect people in crashes and do more to help prevent crashes that can injure or kill. It was this test that caused the significant drop in the number of vehicles earning the top rating. For small sized vehicles the Kia Forte, Kia Soul, Subaru Impreza and Subaru WRX came out on top.
Preventing a crash with auto braking is also now part of the IIHS's safety tests. Automakers have pledged to make it a standard feature by 2022.
The IIHS is also raising it's standards for headlights.
The Institute releases ratings as it evaluates new models, adjusting the list of winners throughout the year.
"We're pleased to have so many vehicles recognized by IIHS, especially with the completely redesigned 2018 Camry receiving its highest safety award", said Chris Nielsen, executive vice president of product support and chief quality officer of Toyota Motor North America.