The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released its list of vehicles that receive its highest award for safety, TOP SAFETY PICK and TOP SAFETY PICK+. Among the standouts for 2014 is Honda. Along with its Acura division, Honda has six vehicles earning a TOP SAFETY PICK+ award and another two that earned a basic TOP SAFETY PICK award. Other standouts include smaller companies like Volvo, Subaru and Mazda. Each of these companies had three vehicles earning TOP SAFETY PICK+ awards.

The Institute introduced the TOP SAFETY PICK award back in 2006 and since then, has gradually made the criteria to win more stringent. In 2007, they added a requirement for good protection in rear crashes and required that the vehicle offer electronic stability control. They later added additional requirements for protection in rollover crashes and in front small overlap crashes.

To earn the basic TOP SAFETY PICK award, vehicles must have top ratings in all five crash tests, including a good or acceptable rating in the new front small overlap crash test. To earn the TOP SAFETY PICK+ award, vehicles also have to offer an effective front crash prevention system, either forward collision warning or auto brake.

Front crash prevention systems have been spreading quickly through the vehicle fleet. As a result, there are more 2014 TOP SAFETY PICK+ winners than regular TOP SAFETY PICK winners.

Safety Tips to Avoid Car Crashes

Regardless of how many state-of-the-art safety features your vehicle has, most people would rather avoid a car crash altogether. Here are some helpful tips for staying safe on the road;

  • Don’t allow children to climb around inside the vehicle, they should be properly buckled in their car seats or in seat belts at all times
  • Avoid driving when you’re tired or under the influence of medication. Drowsiness will adversely affect your reaction time.
  • Don’t allow your cell phone to distract you from the task at hand. Don’t text or talk while you’re driving.
  • Drive defensively. Use signals when turning or changing lanes, look both ways before proceeding through an intersection, even if you have a green light, and most importantly, don’t speed. Watching out for other drivers will increase your chances of staying out of a crash.

If you have been injured in a car accident, an experienced personal injury attorney, like those at Phillips Law Firm, can help ensure you receive full benefits from the insurance company and determine whether you can file a claim for additional damages against the party at fault for the crash.