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Safest vehicles for 2018

Safest vehicles for 2018

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released its top vehicle safety picks for 2018.

Every year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety names only a handful of vehicles with its Top Safety Pick+ honor.

Toyota had the most vehicles on the top safety pick with 10 winning the award.

Leading the way for the most Top Safety awards are Hyundai and Subaru. As a whole, foreign models edged out American models for safety.

"Drivers expect that their passengers, who are often family, will be protected just as well as they are", IIHS President Adrian Lund said in a statement. All models received a "Superior" rating in front crash prevention when equipped with EyeSight. The IIHS implemented tougher criteria this year to include good-rated headlights and good or acceptable passenger-side protection in small overlap front crashes.

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To qualify for the rating, vehicles needed to earn a headlight rating of "good", and a "good" or "acceptable" rating for the passenger-side small overlap front test. "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".

However, there is a problem with the rankings overall. In short, base models rarely make the grade.

The group crashed brand new vehicles at speeds of 40 miles per hour in the pursuit of safety.

IIHS is placing more emphasis on the impact of headlights on the safety rating of new vehicles. The institute also tests headlight systems where IIHS engineers measure the reach of a vehicle's headlights on straight roads and on curves.

Lund said Toyota leads the way in making crash avoidance technology standard equipment. Only 15 of them earned the highest honors.