IIHS announces its latest Top Safety Picks

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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While specific safety features like electronic stability control and lane-departure warning systems are especially helpful in preventing a collision, a sturdy frame is essential to occupant protection should a crash ever occur. Many people believe that the best place to be in a crash is inside a large vehicle. The added size and weight is thought to offer more protection when compared to smaller vehicles. It comes as no surprise then that a minivan and three large sport-utility vehicles recently earned the 2011 Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The award was earned by the 2011 Honda Odyssey minivan and three sport-utilities from General Motors: the 2011 Buick Enclave, 2011 Chevrolet Traverse, and 2011 GMC Acadia.

Established in 1959, the IIHS is a non-profit organization based in the United States that regularly tests and reports on frontal offset and side-impact crash resistance, plus roof strength safety of many vehicles sold in North America.

After the Toyota Sienna, Honda's Odyssey is the second minivan to earn the Top Safety Pick distinction since the IIHS revised its testing criteria for 2011. To win the award a vehicle needs to achieve it's highest "Good" rating for roof strength as well. Furthermore, recipients of the Top Safety Pick award must be equipped with an anti-skid electronic stability control system in addition to having "Good" crash test ratings.
In terms of its roof strength, the Odyssey was mightily impressive having withstood more than five times the entire weight of the vehicle. The Acadia's roof also impressed after it withstood a force that was four times greater than the entire vehicle weight. To put things into perspective, United States federal standards currently require a vehicle's roof to withstand one and a half times the vehicle's entire weight according to the IIHS.

It is important to keep in mind that the Top Safety Pick award is only designated for Odysseys, Enclaves, Traverses and Acadias that are 2011 models. And in the case of the three General Motors vehicles, the award only applies to those models that were built after January 2011. This is because General Motors made significant changes to these models, which helped improve their respective roof strength.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, Minivan, SUV, Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, Honda, Odyssey, Acadia, Enclave, Traverse, Safety, IIHS, Crash Test,

Organizations: Buick

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