The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has recognized the 2011 Cadillac CTS and Infiniti M37/M56 with top safety pick awards. Both vehicles received the top rating of good in recent roof strength tests that assess how well vehicles would protect people in rollover crashes. The Lexus GS and Audi A6, both tested as 2010 models, were rated acceptable, and the Acura RL, also a 2010, was rated marginal for rollover protection.
The CTS and M37/M56 had good ratings in all 4 Institute safety evaluations, and electronic stability control, which research shows can help drivers stay out of crashes altogether.
“The test results show that manufacturers are moving quickly to improve the rollover safety of their newest designs,” says Institute president Adrian Lund.
The BMW 5 series, Hyundai Genesis, Lincoln MKS, Mercedes E class, and Volvo S80 also are Top Safety Pick winners in the large luxury class based on test results released earlier.
The Institute evaluates rollover protection using a roof strength test. In this test a metal plate is pushed against one corner of a vehicle’s roof at a constant speed. The maximum force sustained by the roof before 5 inches of crush is compared to the vehicle’s weight to find the strength-to-weight ratio. This is a good assessment of vehicle structural protection in rollover crashes. Good rated vehicles have roofs that can withstand a force equal to at least 4 times the vehicle’s weight.
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