A Crash Course On
Vehicle Safety Ratings
Mouse over a star to learn more about it.
IIHS rates vehicles as good, acceptable, marginal, or poor based on each of five crash tests. It also assigns a basic, advanced, or superior rating to vehicles’ front crash prevention technology systems. Cars that perform well across all tests are designated Top Safety Picks for their model year.
Have high scores or ratings from NHTSA and IIHS testing
Are equipped with advanced collision avoidance technology
Are larger or heavier, which correlates with occupant survivability
Still meet your performance and fuel economy needs
A convenient way to compare safety and fuel economy at the same time is the AAA Green Car Guide, which annually reviews and rates zero-emission, alternative-fuel, and other eco-friendly vehicles. One of the evaluation areas, crashworthiness, takes vehicle weight and number of air bags into account. Each vehicle also has its NHTSA crash rating published, if available.
Information taken from "How to Select the Safest Car," the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center, June 26, 2015.