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IIHS Sets Higher Standards: Tougher Requirements for TOP SAFETY PICK Awards in 2024

IIHS, TOP SAFETY PICK, Safety Standards, Automotive Industry, Pedestrian Crash Avoidance, Back Seat Protection

In a bid to elevate automotive safety standards, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is implementing more rigorous criteria for earning its TOP SAFETY PICK and TOP SAFETY PICK+ awards in 2024. The challenge posed to automakers includes enhanced protection for back seat passengers and improvements in pedestrian crash avoidance systems.

IIHS Sets Higher Standards: Tougher Requirements for TOP SAFETY PICK Awards in 2024

IIHS Sets Higher Standards: Tougher Requirements for TOP SAFETY PICK Awards in 2024

Stricter Requirements

For 2024, IIHS has intensified the requirements for its safety awards, pushing manufacturers to deliver superior protection for both vehicle occupants and pedestrians. The new criteria demand a higher rating of ‘good’ for either TOP SAFETY PICK or TOP SAFETY PICK+, eliminating the option for an ‘acceptable’ rating.

Key Changes in Criteria:

  1. Pedestrian Crash Avoidance Systems: The evaluation of pedestrian crash avoidance systems has been revised, combining daytime and nighttime tests into a single comprehensive assessment. This change emphasizes the importance of nighttime performance, crucial for earning either award.
  2. Updated Moderate Front Overlap Test: The 2024 TOP SAFETY PICK+ requirements replace the original moderate front overlap test with an updated version. This new evaluation introduces a second dummy positioned behind the driver, placing a spotlight on back seat safety. A good rating in the original moderate overlap test is still essential for the base TOP SAFETY PICK award.
  3. Combination of Driver-Side and Passenger-Side Ratings: The small overlap front crash test now combines driver-side and passenger-side evaluations into a single rating. The result is equivalent to the lower of the two outcomes, offering a more comprehensive assessment of a vehicle’s protection in this scenario.

Impact on Award Winners

Despite the heightened standards, 71 models still qualify for the 2024 awards. Among these, 22 earn the prestigious TOP SAFETY PICK+, while 49 secure the TOP SAFETY PICK recognition. Hyundai Motor Group emerges as a leader with a total of 16 awards, including six TOP SAFETY PICK+ and 10 TOP SAFETY PICK accolades.

Encouraging Progress and Accountability

IIHS introduced these changes to encourage advancements in back seat safety and to prompt automakers to address existing gaps in occupant protection. The focus on pedestrian crash avoidance systems aligns with the industry’s responsibility to enhance safety for all road users.

Looking Ahead

As automotive safety evolves, IIHS emphasizes the role of automakers, policymakers, and consumers in collectively advancing safety measures. While acknowledging progress in protecting occupants, IIHS underscores the importance of addressing broader safety concerns, such as pedestrian fatalities.


The IIHS’s decision to impose more challenging criteria for TOP SAFETY PICK awards in 2024 underscores a commitment to pushing the automotive industry towards higher safety standards. As technology advances, the emphasis on protecting not only vehicle occupants but also pedestrians reflects a holistic approach to road safety.