To determine crashworthiness — how well a vehicle protects its occupants in a crash — the Institute rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests, a rollover test, plus evaluations of seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts. To earn Top Safety Pick for 2011 a vehicle must have good ratings in all four Institute tests. In addition, the winning vehicles must offer electronic stability control.
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