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What are the safest cars to drive of 2015?

When most people shop for a vehicle, safety is one of their main priorities. Since the majority of us will be involved in a car accident of some sort during our lifetimes, we want to drive cars that will protect us in a crash.

However, automakers aren’t exactly honest about how safe their vehicles actually are, and with all of the news about defective automobile parts lately we can be left feeling unsure about who to trust.

Luckily, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety -- a nonprofit financed by the insurance industry -- puts together its own list of the safest cars on the market and the 2015 list was recently announced.

The good news is that 71 models earned the IIHS’s two top awards for Top Safety Pick+ or Top Safety Pick, which was up from just 39 models last year. The manufacturers with the most models on the list were Toyota, Honda and Subaru.

The IIHS’s president said that this was the third year in a row that automakers had to meet a tougher standard in order to make the list. Specifically, in addition to four standard crashworthiness evaluations, the vehicles also had to pass a “small overlap front test.”

This test is designed to mimic an accident in which the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or object. Since this is such a common type of accident on the roadways, the IIHS wanted to make sure that it was included in the testing.

The IIHS’s president said the goal of the safety awards is to get automakers to improve vehicle performance in the small overlap front crash test as well as “to offer automatic braking technology on more and more vehicles,” which was new to the testing this year.

For more information on which cars earned the highest safety awards, see the IISH’s report.

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