Ford and Volvo combined to receive 16 of the 72 "Top Safety Pick" Awards for 2009, announced today by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The award is given to vehicles that do the best job of protecting drivers and passengers in a variety of crash tests.
According to an IIHS News Release announcing the "Top Safety Pick" winners, the 72 awards for 2009 "is more than double the number of 2008 recipients and more than 3 times the number of 2007 winners." The IIHS's Top Safety Pick "recognizes vehicles that do the best job of protecting people in front, side, and rear crashes based on good ratings in Institute tests. Winners also have to have electronic stability control (ESC), which research shows significantly reduces crash risk," says the vehicle safety organization. (See the IIHS News Release for a list of all 72 winners of the 2009 "Top Safety Pick" Award.)
The Wall Street Journal reports that "For consumers, the longer list of top-rated vehicles means buyers have a wider range of choices. . . The main reason for the rapid improvement is that car makers have been working aggressively to turn safety into a selling point. For many car buyers, crash-test performance has moved ahead of creature comforts, styling, and horsepower on the list of must-have features."