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Vehicles used to come without seatbelts, now safety is a top priority. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) just increased its standards, making it difficult for Toyota and other automakers to earn the Top Safety Pick+ title. While options like the Toyota Prius, RAV4, Highlander, and more are safe, only one made it to the top tier. 

The 2024 Toyota Prius is a Top Safety Pick+ Winner 

Congratulations to the 2024 Toyota Prius for earning the title of Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS. It recently raised its standard, making this designation harder to gain. 

Toyota isn’t the only auto brand with only one option to earn this title. Other sole winners include the Subaru Ascent, Ford Explorer, and Tesla Model Y. 

Toyota had a few more models earn the lesser, but still impressive title of Top Safety Pick. These models include the Camry, Crown, Highlander, Tundra, Sienna, and Prius Prime. 

The IIHS judges vehicles based on their performance with ratings that range from poor, marginal, acceptable, or good. Active safety systems are rated as basic, advanced, or superior. 

Each vehicle is put through four different crash simulations and daytime/nighttime pedestrian detection tests. Vehicles strike barriers that are 40% of the vehicle’s width while traveling at 40 mph with a test dummy behind the wheel. 

The side impact test used to involve a 3,300 lb sled, but it has been updated to 4,200 lbs to reflect the size of today’s vehicles better

Also, the daytime and nighttime pedestrian tests were combined into one score. More pedestrians are struck during the day, but more pedestrian fatalities occur at night. If either pedestrian test is failed then the vehicle then the vehicle fails to win the award. 

The 2024 Toyota Prius primarily earned a Good rating in each crash test with a few Acceptable scores and only one Marginal rating. 

Plus, the active safety systems earned a Good score and avoided collisions at speeds of 12, 35, and 37 mph during the day and night. But at 37 mph with its low beams, speed was reduced by 34 mph and a warning was issued 1.9 seconds before impact.