If you're like most people shopping for a new car, safety ranks high among things you're looking for. Every new car must meet certain federal safety standards, but that doesn't mean that all cars are equally safe. There are still important safety differences, and some vehicles are safer than others.
A major part of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's testing program is the Crashworthiness Evaluations of new passenger vehicles. The principal component of each vehicle's rating is performance in a 40 mph frontal offset crash test, based on certain criteria. This test is a good measure of a vehicle's structural design.