Dec. 19 - Just 22 vehicles earned the U.S. insurance industry's highest safety award for 2014, which rated vehicles on tougher new standards including crash prevention technology. Mana Rabiee reports.
Just 22 vehicles earned the U.S. insurance industry's highest safety award for 2014. That's because the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety used tougher standards this year in its annual Top Safety Pick. It graded vehicles not just on how well they protect during a crash - but how well they prevent them from happening, using warning systems or automatic breaking. SOUNDBITE: INSURANCE INSTITUTE FOR HIGHWAY SAFETY PRESIDENT ADRIAN LUND SAYING WHILE DEMONSTRATING INSIDE MOVING CAR: "We're driving at the stationary target, and when we get close enough the vehicle will sense an eminent collision and sound a forward collision warning and if I don't take any action then the vehicle will try to stop itself." Also, for the first time this year, the standard battery of tests for the Institute's highest "Top Safety Pick+" category rated vehicles in "overlap" collisions, not just front and rear end crashes. It's meant to replicate real life accident scenarios, like crashing into a tree or utility pole. Honda/Acura had the most winners of any carmaker. But also on the list were the Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ, Volvo S60 and the Honda Civic hybrid. The Institute says this year's new standards are designed to reward car makers for building that extra level of safety into their vehicles.