The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently released its Top Safety Picks for 2023, identifying the best-performing vehicles in the organization’s battery of safety tests with respect to individual vehicle size categories. Notably, The IIHS’ 2023 Top Safety Picks don’t include a single GM vehicle.
The IIHS’ criteria for its Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards were strengthened for 2023, with added demands placed on side crash protection and improved pedestrian crash prevention systems, as well as the elimination of subpar headlights from the field of qualifying vehicles.
The original IIHS side crash test was replaced with an updated evaluation initially launched in 2021, which now includes an 82-percent increase in crash energy compared to the original test. Vehicles that earn an acceptable or good rating in this test qualify for a Top Safety Pick award, while vehicles that earn a good rating are eligible for a Top Safety Pick+ award.
The Top Safety Pick+ criteria also includes a new nighttime vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention evaluation, with an advanced or superior performance in both nighttime and daytime pedestrian tests required for the Top Safety Pick+ designation. A daytime rating of advanced or superior is required for a Top Safety Pick award.
With regard to headlight evaluations, vehicles must be equipped as standard with headlights that earn an acceptable or good rating in the IIHS evaluations, whereas previously, a vehicle only had to offer at least one trim level with headlights that meet this criteria.
A total of just 48 models qualified for the latest 2023 awards, of which 20 earned a Top Safety Pick award, while 28 earned a Top Safety Pick+ award. Compared to last year’s less-stringent criteria, 101 vehicles earned an award, 65 of which earned a Top Safety Pick+ award.
“The number of winners is smaller this year because we’re challenging automakers to build on the safety gains they’ve already achieved,” said IIHS President David Harkey.