D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jan 18, 2021

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2011 Top Safety Picks
One winner, the new Chevrolet Cruze. Picture courtesy of LeftLaneNews.com

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)