Granted, you drive on Florida's highways with the car you have, not the car you are dreaming of. But every once in a while you get to buy a car, and you can make a choice. For every budget and type of passenger car, you can choose between a safe car and a car that won't protect you the way it should. There is a big difference.

The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS) publishes the Top Safety Picks every year, the best cars rated according to a number of crashworthiness tests and electronic stability control. The IIHS rating is based specifically on:
  • 40 mph Frontal Offset Crash Test: A frontal collision where only one side of the vehicle's front end strikes the barrier.
  • Side Crash Test: A side impact from a 31 mph moving barrier with the height and size of an SUV or pickup truck.
  • Rollover Ratings: A metal plate is pushed against one corner of a vehicle's roof at a constant speed. The resulting crush is compared to the vehicle's weight to assess structural protection in rollover crashes.
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint: This test determines how do seat and head restraint combinations protect against whiplash injury.
  • Bumper evaluations: 4 impact tests (front and rear full-width and corner) measure damage to the vehicle and passengers in typical low-speed collisions.
  • Electronic Stability Control: ESC significantly reduces accident risks, particularly the risk of single-vehicle crashes, by helping drivers maintain control of their vehicles during emergency maneuvers.

So, what are the 2011 Top Safety Picks? There are so many types, brands and models that it could take half a day to go over them, and much longer to compare the safety features of a car with its look, comfort, technical features and price. The IIHS's safety ratings are a good way to start when you decide to buy a new car. For every model, the rating goes from Good to Acceptable, Marginal and Poor. Every one of the above-described tests is rated separately, which gives you a chilling but informative preview of where and how you are likely to get hurt if you and passengers are involved in a serious car crash.

The Daytona Beach attorneys of Johnson & Gilbert PA take your safety seriously. If you have been hurt in a car accident, call today toll free at (800) 556-8890 and locally at (386) 673-4412 or fill out the form on this page for a free consultation.