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Many families shop for safe cars that offer the best protection possible. How are cars rated for safety? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) both conduct rigorous tests using crash dummies that can measure details such as crash force during a collision.

Frontal crash tests involve crashing a car headfirst at 40 mph into a flexible barrier designed to mimic the front of another vehicle. Side impact tests involve hitting a car from the side with a moving barrier while the car is traveling at 31 mph. Dummies are positioned at various places within the car to measure overall safety.

Apart from crash tests, a car’s safety is also impacted by its inclusion of safety technology that can help drivers avoid a collision, which includes electronic stability control (now built into every new car), emergency braking systems, collision avoidance sensors and more. These features can make throttle and brake adjustments to prevent a loss of control and/or alert you to oncoming dangers.

So which cars earned top scores for safety?
  1. Honda Accord: This mid-size sedan has a high safety score in all areas, including rollover. Its new stronger structure in its ninth generation is a contributing factor to the Accord’s continued praise.
  2. Ford Fusion: In production since 2006, this mid-size sedan has earned top-tier safety ratings and includes safety features such as blind spot monitors.
  3. Kia Optima: A rebadged version of the Hyundai Sonata, this mid-size sedan was completely redesigned in 2011 to improve aesthetics along with safety. The Optima now remains one the safest sedans in production.
  4. Nissan Altima: In 2011, the Altima became the number two best-selling car in the US. The four-door sedan model has received recognition for safety and reliability, largely thanks to new features such as a rearview camera and blind-spot monitors.
  5. Subaru Outback: This mid-size car is the flagship for Subaru, with good reason. The Outback has earned top safety ratings and is noted as a great family car.
  6. Volvo S60: This Swedish car has received a five-star rating from both American and European safety inspection agencies, furthering Volvo’s reputation for safety.
  7. Volkswagen Passat: This full-size sedan has been in production since 1973 and continues its legacy for safety. Ratings are all excellent for handling, reliability and safety features.
  8. Dodge Dart: This car’s high safety ratings, paired with its ten airbags, make it a safe choice for drivers everywhere.
  9. Chrysler 200: This mid-size luxury sedan is an updated version of the Sebring. The four-door model has been recognized for safety and reliability.
  10. Acura TL: Made by the same company as the Honda Accord, this mid-size luxury sedan has been ranked high for safety, as well as being a consumer favorite.
Any car, no matter how safe, needs protection. Call TCU Insurance at (502) 348-5921 for more information on Indiana auto insurance.
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