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1/12/2012 - Insurance Institute of Highway Safety gives Top Safety Pick nod to 115 vehicles

A record number vehicles received top safety ratings.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released its Top Safety Pick winners for 2012.

According to the IIHS, its list is longer than ever as 115 vehicles received the safety distinction, including makes from nearly every size category such as minicars, sedans and pickups.

"For the second year running a record number of models qualify," said Adrian Lund, president of the IIHS. "It's tough to win, and we commend auto manufacturers for making safety a top priority."

Safety enhancements and how well vehicles fare in accident tests are among the factors auto insurance companies take into consideration when assessing rates.

In total, 69 cars, 38 SUVs, five minivans and three pickup trucks received the Top Safety Pick designation, scoring well in front, side, rollover and rear crashes. But the automotive features that improved the most exponentially compared to previous years were the tested vehicles' roofs, as 100 manufacturers had them redesigned.

Lund said Honda should be credited for having the most-improved roof, as the automaker upgraded the strength and durability of 10 models' roofs.

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