Every year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety puts out a list of new vehicles that receive the highest safety scores. The top vehicles are then given a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick Plus award. Wyoming residents should know that the 2020 list has a special emphasis on vehicles with high pedestrian crash prevention ratings.

This comes at a time when pedestrian deaths are on the rise. Compared to 2009, the number of pedestrians killed in 2018 was 53% higher. The list also focuses on factors like passenger safety and nighttime visibility.

The IIHS has raised the bar for these, too. For example, vehicles must receive a Good rating in a passenger-side small overlap crash test to be named a Top Safety Pick. As for 2020 models, 66% passed the driver-side small overlap crash test with a Good rating, but only 46% did so in the passenger-side test. The IIHS hopes that its stricter standards will encourage automakers to improve in this area.

The IIHS tested a total of 219 models. Sixty-four vehicles were named a Top Safety Pick, and 23 were given the Top Safety Pick Plus award. Mazda won the most Top Safety Pick Plus awards while Hyundai had the most winners in general. Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge and Mitsubishi received neither award.

Passengers can be injured more severely than drivers. If they were the victims of negligence, then they may be able to file an auto accident claim and be compensated for their losses, including medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. The filing process can be difficult, so it might be wise to hire a lawyer. Legal representation may come in handy if the insurance companies are willing to negotiate a settlement out of court.