Top Vehicle Safety Picks for 2011

2011 Top Safety Picks

One winner, the new Chevrolet Cruze. Picture courtesy of

Looking for a vehicle that’s safe and offers better-than-average protection? Take a gander at the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety‘s list of 66 Top Safety Picks for 2011, recently announced in Arlington, Virginia.

This year’s winners include 40 cars, 25 SUVs (surprise, surprise!) and a minivan (bigger surprise!).

Those chosen rated high in front, side, rollover and rear protection in Institute crash tests. Top-raters were also required to offer higher levels of protection than federal safety standards set as basic, plus equipment such as electronic stability control and a crash avoidance feature that significantly reduces crash risk.

But that’s not all. This year, the Institute added a requirement that all qualifiers must earn a good rating for performance in roof strength to increase protection in rollovers. This sharply narrowed the field of last year’s winners, sending them back to the drawing board for design reworking. As a result, 31 new, safer models were introduced this year, as two discontinued models dropped out of the running.

According to Adrian Lund, the Institute’s president, “In just a year, automakers have more than doubled the number of vehicles that meet the criteria for Top Safety Pick. That gives consumers shopping for a safer new car or SUV—from economy to luxury models—plenty of choices to consider in most dealer showrooms. In fact, every major automaker has at least one winning model this year.”

Here’s a toast to our automakers, both here and abroad. Way to go toward keeping us all safe on the road!


The list of all 66 winners (scroll to the bottom of the page)

About Cecil Helton

Cecil Helton Cecil Helton is a U.S.-based writer and editor with passions for cars, motorcycles, boats, technology and social media. Much of his professional life since 1996 has been web-centric, and he’s written and developed content on a variety of subjects. His work in the houseboat industry received wide acclaim, such as winning the 1999 Cisco Systems Growing with Technology award and being named one of five finalists in the manufacturing sector of the 2000 Computerworld-Smithsonian Awards. As an Air Force brat, he spent much of his childhood in a two-year cycle of moving to a new place, making new friends, establishing a life, and then moving again. Destinations included: Kentucky, Illinois, Texas, the Greek isle of Crete, California and Ohio. Today you’ll find Cecil coping with his 15 year old son’s decision to pursue a motorcycle license at the same time he gets his driver’s license, being active across the web on multiple social media sites, and of course, writing articles and creating content on automotive and car insurance related topics right here at

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