IIHS releases 2020 list of safest cars, highlight new safety features

Investigators

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — If you’re in the market for a new car, safety will likely influence your decision.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says there are 64 new cars for 2020 that are some of the safest out there thanks to state of the art safety systems.

To earn a top safety pick, vehicles must perform well in six different crash tests and pass a roof strength test.

This year, 64 vehicles earned a top safety pick award. That’s seven more than last year.

And among those winners, 23 received the highest honor of top safety pick plus.

The differences that separate the top safety pick plus choices from all others are headlights.

The best-rated vehicles give you great headlights as standard equipment in all models and trim packages helping you see obstacles further down the road, and the IIHS says that’s important.

“The risk of being involved in a crash at night is much greater than it is during the day,” said IIHS President David Harkey.

So, when automakers add improved headlights, it lets you see further down the road.

“It also allows you to see obstacles or be able to detect unexpected situations much sooner and be able to respond to those situations and hopefully stop and avoid a crash,” said Harkey.

The institute would like to see automakers add top-performing headlights as standard equipment on all vehicles.

The institute also added new criteria for its safety picks this year, look at the safety of people outside the vehicle.

The IIHS is requiring winners to have pedestrian detection systems that can prevent an accident.

Pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. have risen dramatically over the last seven years,” said Harkey. “They’re up by 53 percent from 2009 to where we are today.

Of all the automakers, Mazda took home the most safety pick plus awards with five. Subaru had four.

GM’s Cadillac was the only U.S. car company to earn the top award.

“Regarding the current crop of new cars,” Harkey said. “I do think that vehicles are as safe as we’ve ever seen them.”

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