Hyundai, Kia, Genesis and Subaru clean up in IIHS 2018 safety ratings

A total of eleven Toyota and Lexus vehicles are 2018 IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK award winners with the new 2018 Camry receiving its highest award the TOP SAFETY PICK

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety made it more hard to be named a Top Safety Pick Plus.

Subaru had the most Safety Pick+ vehicles.

Most of the Top Safety Pick Plus Awards went to Hyundai Motor Company with 6 awards and Subaru with four. To qualify for the TPS+ award, vehicles must also earn an acceptable rating in a new passenger-side small overlap front test introduced by the IIHS for 2018.

A Top Safety Pick Plus vehicle earned a good rating in crash tests and roof strength, and high marks for crash avoidance technology. Check out the full list of models that qualify.

Headlights weren't factored in for the 2017 Top Safety Pick, and an acceptable headlight rating was enough to bump a 2017 award victor into the "plus" category.

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". IIHS first began conducting driver-side small overlap crashes in 2012. It's a drop from previous year - and the new crash tests are not the only reason why.

"We are trying to send a message to the auto makers that we do want them to improve the protection for their customers", said IIHS president Adrian Lund.

The Institute's headlight ratings also are relatively new, with the first ones being released in March 2016.

Headlights that effectively light up the road are another area where the IIHS has raised its standards. The TOP SAFETY PICK+ accolade was introduced in the 2013 model year to recognize vehicles that offer a superior level of safety.

While automakers are claiming that kind of technology will be standard equipment in the near future, it won't be in all cases so if you are driving one of the "Top Pick Plus" vehicles, you may be simply driving its lower-priced, and lower rated, sibling instead. Over the years, IIHS has added to and strengthened criteria for both awards, pushing automakers to speed up safety advances.

"The improvements in occupant protection have been fantastic over the past decades", he said in a statement.

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