Three large cars have joined the ranks of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety "top safety pick-plus" designation.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tested six large car models, but only three large cars joined the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s ‘Top Safety Pick Plus” design.
“The top safety pick plus winners have good ratings in all of our crash tests, plus they're available with a front crash prevention system rated advanced or superior and headlights that are rated acceptable or good,” David Zuby, IIHS Chief Research Officer said.
The top models include the 2017 Lincoln Continental, Mercedes e-class and the Toyota Avalon. The Avalon was promoted to a Top Safety Pick Plus from a Top Safety pick because engineers improved the aim of headlights on models built after March.
The ranking means drivers and passengers in each of the three models have a higher chance of survival if involved in an accident.
“Cars that have better headlights are associated with fewer crashes,” Zuby said. “Better headlights help the driver see the road and potential obstacles on the road at night.”
The other three cars the IIHS tested missed the mark - receiving "poor" ratings for their headlights.
However, the Chevrolet Impala, Ford Taurus and Tesla Model S all had good ratings in four of the five crash tests and acceptable performances in small overlap front crashes.
”A lot of the crash energy is concentrated on a part of the car that traditionally doesn't have a lot of structure,” Zuby said.
The Impala ranked higher in its front crash prevention system than the Taurus. The Tesla hasn't yet been rated in that category.
To see more test results, go the www.iihs.org
© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.