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Top Safety Picks by year

IIHS conducts vehicle tests to determine crashworthiness — how well a vehicle protects its occupants in a crash. It also rates vehicles for front crash prevention, systems that warn the driver or brake automatically to avoid or mitigate a frontal collision. The vehicles that perform best in the tests qualify for Top Safety Pick, which has been awarded since the 2006 model year, or Top Safety Pick+, which was inaugurated in 2013.

2012 TOP SAFETY PICKs

To qualify for 2012 Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests.

Models that earn Top Safety Pick are the best vehicle choices for safety within size categories. Size and weight influence occupant protection in serious crashes. Larger, heavier vehicles generally afford more protection than smaller, lighter ones. Thus, a small car that's a Top Safety Pick doesn't necessarily afford more protection than a bigger car that doesn't earn the award.

All 2012 Top Safety Picks are 2012 models unless otherwise noted.

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