Agency ranks safest vehicles for 2017

Photo courtesy: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WPRI) – The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has come out with its list of the safest vehicles for 2017.

This year, top honors are going to vehicles with good headlights.

“We’ve raised the bar for auto manufacturers.” said Adrian Lund, President of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) “You have to have headlamps that do a good job or an acceptable job of lighting up the road ahead of you at night.”

Roughly 200 vehicles were tested. 38 received the top honor of “Top Safety Pick Plus” and 44 earned the “Top Safety Pick” label.

Toyota and Lexus had the most models on the list, followed by Honda and its Acura division.

The 2017 report also found that autobrake features are becoming more common, with 21 of this year’s winners including automatic braking capabilities.

Motor Trend’s Chris Clonts says two years ago when the IIHS made autobraking part of their safety criteria, car companies quickly added it.

He believes they’ll do the same with improved headlights.

“When consumer are asked, they say safety is one of their top three things that they mention.” said Clonts.

The IIHS says it releases ratings as it evaluates new models, adjusting the list of winners throughout the year.