The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (Institute) recently announced the vehicles that earned the Top Safety Pick award for 2010.  According to the Institute’s press release, for the first time, a roof strength test that measured the protection in a rollover accident was part of the requirement to earn the award.

The award is based on the vehicle’s ability to protect occupants in front, side, rear and rollover accidents.  Each vehicle is assigned a rating in these tests, which is used to determine the eligibility to receive the Top Safety Pick award.  Winners of this award must also have electronic stability control, which is considered a crucial safety feature.

Ready to hear the winners for 2010?  Subaru had a winner in all four vehicle classes and earned five awards.  Ford and Volvo had six winners and Volkswagon/Audi had five.  Chrysler has been working on improving the crashworthiness of its vehicles and earned four awards.  The Nissan Cube and Kia Soul, both new small cars, received the Top Safety Pick award.  Below is a list of all the winners in 2010:

Large cars
Buick LaCrosse
Ford Taurus
Lincoln MKS
Volvo S80

Midsize cars
Audi A3
Chevrolet Malibu built after November 2009
Chrysler Sebring 4-door with optional electronic stability control
Dodge Avenger with optional electronic stability control
Mercedes C class
Subaru Legacy
Subaru Outback
Volkswagen Jetta sedan
Volkswagen Passat sedan
Volvo C30

Small cars
Honda Civic 4-door models (except Si) with optional electronic stability control
Kia Soul
Nissan Cube
Subaru Impreza except WRX
Volkswagen Golf 4-door

Midsize SUVs
Dodge Journey
Subaru Tribeca
Volvo XC60
Volvo XC90

Small SUVs
Honda Element
Jeep Patriot with optional side torso airbags
Subaru Forester
Volkswagen Tiguan

According to Institute president Adrian Lund, now that the roof strength test has been added, the Institute can cover all four of the most common types of car accidents.  The addition of this new test showcases manufacturers that produce vehicles with good rollover protection.  It is estimated that rollover accidents claim more than 9,000 lives annually in the United States.  The Institute believes that strong roofs can decrease the risk of serious and fatal injuries in rollovers.

If you have been injured in a car accident in Daytona Beach, Volusia County, Flagler County, Putnam County, Seminole County, Lake County, Orange County, St. Johns County, Brevard County, Osceola County, Polk County, Duval County, Marion County or Alachua County, you need to contact an experienced Daytona Beach car accident lawyer at Johnson & Gilbert, PA at (386) 673-4412 or (800) 556-8890 for legal advice.