Preventing accidents is important, but you’re at the mercy of other drivers on the road. A motorist may opt to dart out in front of your vehicle, and in that split second, your vehicle is totaled and you end up in the hospital.
It happens to millions of people per year.
But the vehicle that you drive will dictate your safety, too. Some vehicles are inherently safe by design; they’re able to withstand impact and protect passengers better than other vehicles.
The safest vehicles this year, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are:
Honda has stepped up their vehicle safety with great overlap in the front, good roof strength, good head restraints and seats. Honda includes a front crash prevention system standard in this model along with LATCH for car seat safety.
There are additional safety features available, including lane departure prevention and lane departure warning systems.
Hyundai gets a top safety pick only with models that were built after September 2018. The rating is also given only with the front crash prevention system and specific headlights installed. A small car, the Elantra’s overlap, side and roof strength are all good.
The non-optional headlights received a poor rating, so consumers will want to upgrade to the optional headlights.
The Forte is a very safe vehicle once the optional headlights are installed. The vehicle comes with a front crash protection system and scored a good rating across the board for crashworthiness.
Additional safety features that can be installed are:
Kia’s Soul is another safe vehicle, but it only receives the award for safety when the optional headlights and crash prevention systems are installed. The vehicle’s standard headlights received a poor rating, and the LATCH ease of use is acceptable and could be better.
The Impreza does well with its standard headlights which received a moderate safety rating, but you’ll want to install the optional headlights for best crash avoidance. The LATCH system received one of the best safety ratings, and owners should opt to install the additional crash prevention system.
Front and side curtain airbags work exceptionally well in crash tests, and survival space for the driver was well-maintained during the test.
Toyota still receives a great rating with their acceptable headlights, but it’s better to upgrade the headlights for added safety. The LATCH system is one of the easiest in the lineup to use. Front crash prevention comes standard.
Driver and passenger space were both well-maintained during the crash test, with low risk of injury to the legs or feet.
The Sonata needs to need specific headlights and front crash prevention systems installed to offer the highest level of safety. This mid-size vehicle has poor standard headlights and four additional safety upgrades to make the Sonata safer.
One thing to note is that there is a moderate risk of injury to the driver’s left foot as indicated in the crash test. The front and side airbags worked well to keep the occupant from injury.
The 3 Series, four-door only model is safest when specific headlights are installed. A luxury vehicle, the BMW 3 has multiple headlight options, with the standard headlights receiving a poor rating.
The vehicle has a safe design, but headlights remain a problem. Standard headlights do not offer curve-adaptive or high-beam assist which many of the upgrades offer.
You’ll want the Avalon if it’s been built after September 2018. The vehicle works best with specific headlights installed. LATCH ease of use receives a high rating, and a front crash prevention system is installed standard.
Low risk of injury for both drivers and passengers were noted in Toyota’s internal tests.
Vehicles manufactured prior to September 2018 have not had their safety ratings verified.
The Audi A6 is another vehicle on our list that receives a higher safety rating when the right headlights are installed. Standard headlights seem to perform poorly across the board, as new technologies allow the driver to have greater overall vision when driving at night.
A standard front crash prevention system is installed, and the AWD version of the vehicle performs well when driving in icy conditions.
Note: This list is not in any particular order, as the top picks for safety are handed out to vehicle classes.
Headlights seem to be a major concern for many vehicles. High-beam assist is a newer technology that allows drivers to see further without needing to flick their high beams off and on manually. There is also curve-adaptive technology which allows drivers to see better around curves than with standard headlights.
Low-beam headlights remain a concern when going around curves due to the visibility dropping around sharp curves. High-beams help drivers see better around curves which is one of the main reasons that high-beam assist is able to push vehicle safety ratings higher.
Consumers of all makes and models will want to purchase the optional lighting systems when available.
Keep in mind that many other makes and models made the list, including the 2019:
Recent news reports have the Tesla Model 3 receiving a 5-star safety rating. The vehicle is routinely able to achieve the highest safety awards and is one of the safest vehicles made. Reports suggest that the Model 3 received one of the highest safety ratings ever.
Thanks to new automotive technologies, we expect vehicles to continue becoming safer, reducing the risk of death or injury in automobile accidents.
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