The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has compared top safety ratings of the new cars being distributed to dealerships across the United States and updated ratings for vehicles from 2018.
The IIHS indicates which vehicles are best for avoiding a crash and also conducts crash tests to measure how well a vehicle protects its occupants in the event of an accident.
In order to score a "top safety pick" rating, cars must do well in front, side and rollover crash tests. If vehicles have effective crash avoidance equipment and headlights, the institute awards them with its "highest top safety pick plus" ranking.
After the IIHS established a correlation between good headlights and avoiding accidents, the ranking of headlights as a crucial factor in crash avoidance has been included in the report in recent years.
Below are seven of the "top safety pick" and "top safety pick plus" vehicles:
2018 Hyundai Kona
Hyundai’s Kona moved up to top ratings by responding to a problem in the IIHS tests. Headlights on the 2018 Kona initially were rated poor, then Hyundai switched to better headlights that limited glare to oncoming cars. The Kona is now rated a top safety pick plus.
2018 Nissan Kicks
The Kicks earned strong crash-test results and a superior rating on its collision-avoidance system. The headlights on its most expensive versions earned an acceptable rating.
2018 Nissan Sentra
The Sentra also qualifies as a top safety pick. It features headlights and a collision avoidance system like those on the Nissan Kicks.
2019 Honda Insight
Discontinued by Honda after 2014, it is back as a 2019 model that earns a top safety pick plus rating. The collision avoidance system and headlights that figure in this rating are standard equipment, unlike other vehicles.
2019 Honda Pilot
The Pilot, updated for 2019, has standard top-rated headlights and collision avoidance system. It also earns a top safety pick plus rating.
2019 Acura RDX
Redesigned for 2019, the RDX earned a top safety pick plus rating. Due to its adept handling, comfortable seats and plethora of tech features, the compact SUV wins praise from reviewers
2019 Toyota Avalon
The Avalon, completely redesigned for 2019, earned a top safety pick plus rating. Reviewers at U.S. News rated the Avalon as the top large car due to its upscale interior, smooth ride and driver-assistance features like its front-crash avoidance functionality.