The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has been updating its testing and criteria for its Top Safety Pick awards. Vehicles that perform best in the evaluations qualify for TOP SAFETY PICK, which has been awarded since the 2006 model year, or TOP SAFETY PICK+, which was inaugurated in 2013.
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. 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.
Unsurprisingly, the more demanding requirements have shrunk the list of award recipients — 48 vehicles, which is down from 101 last year.