TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released the list of vehicles it considers top safety picks for 2020.
These awards identify the best vehicle choices for safety within size categories during a given year.
“Larger, heavier vehicles generally afford more protection than smaller, lighter ones,” according to IIHS. “Thus, a small car that qualifies for an award might not protect its occupants as well as a bigger vehicle that doesn’t earn the award.”
To earn a top safety pick, vehicles must perform well in six different crash tests and pass a roof strength test. IIHS also measures roof strength and evaluates whether headlights provide good vision.
This year, 64 vehicles earned a top safety pick award. That’s seven more than last year.
Among those winners, 23 received the highest honor of top safety pick plus.
Honda, Hyundai, and Subaru had the most vehicles named top picks for small cars, with Honda, Mazda, and Subaru claiming Top Safety Pick+ titles.
Taking the Top Safety Pick+ rankings for midsize vehicles were Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota.
Merceds, Tesla, and Lexus took top rankings for midsize luxury vehicles, while Audi and Hyundai took top rankings in the large luxury vehicle class.
This year, no minivans or pick-ups were named top safety picks.
The differences that separate the top safety pick plus choices from all others are headlights.
“Nighttime visibility is critical to highway safety,” IIHS said. “About half of traffic deaths occur either in the dark or at dawn or dusk.”
Not all headlights are created equal, according to IIHS. Those vehicles equipped with headlights most likely to help drivers avoid a crash were given top rankings.