New vehicle crash tests - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

New vehicle crash tests


(CNN)--When you're buying a new car, the last thing you want to think about is being in a crash.

  But it's the first thing the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety measures--to see which new models would best hold up in a crash.  Adrian Lund, IIHS says:"The differences we're measuring are very real and can be the difference between life and death if you're involved in the crashes.

  The independent, nonprofit organization puts about 200 models to the test. This year a record number earned the top rating. Lund adds:"We now have 115 models there that we call top safety picks which means they provide you good protection from the front, side, rollover and rear crashes."

  The number is 18 higher this year because auto manufacturers have redesigned their roofs to give more rollover protection. With so many models measuring up, choices cover all sizes, all prices, with the exception of small pickups--not one made the cut.

  Toyota/Lexus/Scion has the most on the list--with 15, including Toyota Camry's first-ever inclusion.  General Motors and then Volkswagen/Audi round out the top three.

  Honda showed the most improvement--with ten new winning models across seven size categories.

  The institute hopes safety ratings set an industry-wide tone says Lund:"What manufacturers have learned is that if they're not on the safety list, it can hurt their sales. "

  It makes it all the more important for manufacturers--and their vehicles--to hold up to this crash pressure.

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