IIHS: Tougher Car Safety Standards 2024

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is raising the bar for its TOP SAFETY PICK and TOP SAFETY PICK+ awards in 2024, imposing new challenges for automakers. The updated criteria focus on enhancing protection for backseat passengers and bolstering pedestrian crash avoidance systems. Despite these stringent standards, 71 models have met the qualifications for the 2024 awards, with 22 achieving the TOP SAFETY PICK+ and 49 securing the TOP SAFETY PICK.

David Harkey, IIHS President, emphasized the significance of the updated criteria, stating, “This year’s winners are true standouts, offering the highest level of protection for both vehicle occupants and other vulnerable road users.” The revision includes a more demanding side crash test introduced last year, now requiring a good rating for both award categories. Additionally, a revised pedestrian front crash prevention evaluation mandates an acceptable or good rating, merging previous separate daytime and nighttime tests into a single comprehensive assessment.

A notable overhaul in the 2024 criteria is the updated moderate front overlap test, crucial for the TOP SAFETY PICK+ distinction. This test introduces an additional dummy behind the driver to accentuate back seat safety, alongside the requirement for good protection in small overlap front crashes and universally equipped good or acceptable headlights across all trim levels.

Hyundai Motor Group leads with the highest number of 2024 awards, boasting six TOP SAFETY PICK+ and ten TOP SAFETY PICK awards. Toyota Motor Corp follows, with Mazda shining as the single brand with the most TOP SAFETY PICK+ awards. Small SUVs, midsize SUVs, and midsize luxury SUVs each clinched five TOP SAFETY PICK+ awards, highlighting the prevalence and safety focus within these categories.

See also: IIHS Ups Requirements for TOP SAFETY PICKs

Harkey pointed out the disappointing number of pickups and midsize cars meeting the criteria, reflecting on the market’s evolution and the push for enhanced safety features. The IIHS’s initiative, from introducing the moderate overlap front test in 1995 to the current updates, aims to significantly reduce fatalities and injuries, advocating for advancements in both vehicle and pedestrian safety.

The adjustments to the award criteria in 2024 are part of a broader effort to elevate safety standards, encouraging manufacturers to prioritize comprehensive protection for all road users, reflecting a commitment to reducing the risk of injury or death significantly.

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The Brake Report
The Brake Report

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