IIHS Crash Tests Toughened in 2023
- The IIHS has revised its criteria for awarding its best rating, Best Safety Pick and Best Safety Pick+.
- New side-impact tests are conducted with a heavier ram to reflect the increasing weight of vehicles.
- Last year, 101 models earned one of the top two ratings; now there are only 48.
- Among the top 2023 performers are the Rivian R1T, the Mazda CX-5 and CX-50 and the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade duo.
When it comes to judging the safety of a vehicle, the most-cited results are those produced by the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which conducts extensive collision testing of new vehicles introduced to the market.
The highest award a manufacturer can hope to receive for one of its models is the Top Safety Pick+ award. Next best is the Top Safety Pick designation.
In order to reflect new realities, but also to take into account new advances in safety, the test criteria are reviewed on a regular basis. This year, the IIHS has made updates to tighten the standards for the Top Safety Pick+, including a harder side impact test, as well as a test to evaluate the pedestrian, cyclist and collision detection systems found in today's vehicles.
This year, strong results on both of these tests are required to earn the agency's top award. More convincing performance is also required of headlights for a perfect score.
This may make it seem like fewer models are completely safe, but in the longer run, it compels manufacturers to offer even better-built products in the future.Read more