Safest vehicles for 2018

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Advanced safety technologies helped six Subaru models take home top picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Another 47 vehicles earned Top Safety Pick honors from IIHS, with Toyota getting the most.

For 2018, the institute implemented new requirements for headlights and frontal crash evaluations, which left just 15 vehicles that qualified for the Top Safety Pick+ award. As a whole, foreign models edged out American models for safety.

This year the criteria proved a bit more hard to meet.

Headlights also had to perform to standards in another new test in order to earn top ratings.

He says the passenger side crash test was developed "after it became clear that some manufacturers weren't paying enough attention to passenger side protection". The sole Subaru model that did not qualify was the BRZ.

IIHS assesses a vehicle's crashworthiness with six tests: moderate overlap front, driver-side small overlap front, (new) passenger-side small overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints and seats. This new test sends a vehicle into a barrier at 40 miles per hour with just 25 percent of the vehicle's front end overlapping the barrier on the passenger side. Fifteen of those earning its highest award despite tougher criteria requiring better headlights and enhanced passenger side protection.

Here is a link to all the top safety picks, which includes the reasons why they were chosen.

"Doesn't mean that vehicles have gotten less safe, it really just reflects that we've raised the bar", IIHS President Adrian Lund told CBS.

The Institute's headlight ratings also are relatively new, with the first ones being released in March 2016. However, IIHS notes that the vast majority of the award-winners qualify only when optionally equipped because front crash prevention systems and acceptable or good headlights aren't often part of the base trims.

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