New cars are typically loaded with technology which makes them safer than ever. It’s hard to turn on the television and not see multiple commercials by auto manufactures touting their safety features. Still, crashes happen every day and people are getting injured, sometimes seriously! As an attorney who represents crash victims, I can tell you that not all cars perform equally as well in a crash. So how is the average person supposed to know whether one car is safer than another, especially when all those TV ads claim the vehicles earn top marks. What’s the difference between a Top Safety Pick and a Top Safety Pick+? Who hands out those ratings anyway?
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS, is an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing deaths, injuries and property damage from motor vehicle crashes through research and evaluation and through education of consumers, policymakers and safety professionals. Every year that IIHS crash tests the most popular vehicles and evaluates how well the vehicle protects its occupants, how well its crash avoidance systems work, and even how well the headlights light up the road (how many of us test drive a car at night to even know about this before buying). To earn a Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHA, a car has to excel and earn the highest marks across the board, even if some of the safety features are optional. A Top Safety Pick+ vehicle must earn all of the same high marks on all crash and safety tests, but these cars come with all the safety features as standard equipment.
If you’re shopping for a new car or SUV, and especially if you’re shopping for a teenage or senior driver, checkout the incredible crash test videos and other information at IIHS.org Rating. Who knows, buying a car that earned a Top Safety Pick+ could help avoid a crash all together, lessen the severity of an injury, or even save a life. However, despite all the technical safety features, a distracted driver and drunk drivers are still the most likely cause of crashes. If you are injured in a crash caused by a drunk or distracted driver, Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith may be able to help. We have been representing people injures in car crashes for more than 95 years and our firm has been ranked by US News and World Reports as a Best Law Firm.