The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has added three vehicles to its list of the highest rated in terms of crash safety. Oklahoma drivers who are shopping for full-size cars may therefore want to consider the Toyota Avalon, Mercedes-Benz E-Class or the Lincoln Continental. Each of these cars received Top Safety Pick Plus designations from the IIHS.
The Ford Taurus, Chevrolet Impala and Tesla Model S were also tested, but, according to an IIHS vice president, failed to perform at the top-level on the small overlap test. The IIHS began using the test in 2012 to simulate a front driver-side collision with a telephone pole or tree. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has previously spoken openly about his desire to make Tesla vehicles safe.
The seat belt in the Tesla Model S was not strong enough, according to the IIHS vice president, so a crash test dummy struck its head on the steering wheel during the small overlap test. The Impala left the dummy's head partially unprotected and the dummy's leg was exposed to potential injuries when the Taurus was tested. With the addition of the E-Class and the Continental, there are a total of six Top Safety Pick Plus vehicles among large luxury cars. The Avalon is the second car to receive the rating in the large car category.
According to the IIHS vice president, the top rating in the large car category generally means more safety than the top rating in the small car category, because drivers and passengers are safer in larger vehicles. However, car accidents can cause serious injuries regardless of the safety of the vehicle. When a collision is the result of the negligence of another driver, an attorney could help an injured victim seek compensation for medical expenses and other losses.