The Insurance Institute for HIghway Safety has announced its TOP SAFETY PICKS for 2009.

The picks " recognize[ ] vehicles that do the best job of protecting people in front, side, and rear crashes based on good ratings in Institute tests. Winners also have to have electronic stability control (ESC), which research shows significantly reduces crash risk."

IIHS reminds us that "[f]ront and side impacts are the most common kinds of fatal crashes, killing about three-quarters of the 28,896 passenger vehicle occupants who died in 2007. Rear-end crashes usually aren’t fatal, but they result in a large proportion of crash injuries. Neck sprain or strain is the most commonly reported injury in two thirds of insurance claims for injuries in all kinds of crashes."

Read the press release here.  Click here to see vehicle ratings.  There is also a brochure to help consumers indentify the vehciles that passed the test.

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