Being as involved as our firm is in automotive product liability litigation, our lawyers often get asked “What is a safe car for me to buy?” While a lot depends on your individual needs, the key to finding the vehicle that meets your safety needs begins with thorough research. A good starting point is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (www.iihs.org). This organization is a leader in testing and evaluation of vehicle crashworthiness, and our lawyers often rely upon testing conducted by the Institute in our litigation.
The Institute recently released its 2011 Top Safety Pick Awards. Sixty-six vehicles were chosen to receive the Top Safety Pick award for 2011. IIHS, by way of these awards, recognizes the vehicles that do the best job of protecting people in front, side, rollover, and rear crashes based on testing conducted by the Institute. The testing and criteria required by the Institute is more stringent and significantly exceeds governmental requirements.
The Awards are given to vehicles by “class” and cover large/midsize/small cars, SUVs and minivans. Hyundai/Kia and Volkswagen/Audi led the awards with nine winners each. The newly-designed 2011 Ford Explorer won the first-ever Top Safety Pick for that vehicle model. The Volkswagen Touareg was the only “Large SUV” to win the award. A complete list of the 66 vehicles which earned the Top Safety Pick award can be viewed on the Institute’s website. The website also has a helpful brochure that covers safety features consumers should look for when purchasing a vehicle (www.iihs.org/brochures/pdf/sfsc.pdf).
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