(CBS) -- Three large cars have joined the ranks of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s “Top Safety Pick Plus” designation.
In their latest round, the IIHS crash tested six large car models.
“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,” said IIHS chief research officer David Zuby.
The ranking means drivers and passengers in each of the three models have a higher chance of survival if involved in an accident.
The top models include the 2017 Lincoln Continental, the redesigned Mercedes E-class and the Toyota Avalon which 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.
“Cars that have better headlights are associated with fewer crashes. Better headlights help the driver see the road and potential obstacles on the road at night,” said Zuby.
The other three cars the IIHS tested missed the mark, receiving “poor” ratings for their headlights. But the Chevrolet Impala, Ford Taurus, and Tesla Model S all had “good” ratings in four of the five crash tests. They also scored “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,” said Zuby.
The Impala ranked higher in its front crash prevention system than the Taurus. The Tesla hasn’t yet been rated in that category.