Recently the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released their list of its 2013 top performers in safety according to crash tests they conducted. A total of 117 cars earned the distinction of Top Safety Pick, with 13 cars garnering Top Safety Pick+ honors, including the 2013 Nissan Altima, now available at all Virginia Nissan dealers.
IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Choices
Cars earning the top prize were the Nissan Altima 4-door, Chrysler 200 4-door, Dodge Avenger, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Kia Optima, Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Suzuki Kizashi, Volkswagen Passat, Volvo S60 and Acura TL.
Vehicles are rated on a scale of good, acceptable, marginal or poor across five standard impact tests. To earn the honor of Top Safety Pick+, a vehicle model must earn “good” ratings in four of the five tests, and at least an “acceptable” in the fifth test.
New Test Introduced in 2013
New in 2013 was the “small overlap” frontal crash test, which is a test simulating a crash involving a car hitting a pole or tree while going 40 mph. This was a new test for 2013, and many cars failed the test outright. Manufacturers had advanced notice of the changes in testing. Many automakers did make changes to design and safety systems, factoring in the new test.
Before 2013, the IIHS moderate overlap frontal test and the federal government’s full-width frontal test were the tests automakers were concerned with. Many had not taken small overlap frontal crash safety in to account. A 2009 IIHS study of vehicles receiving good ratings for frontal crash protection indicated that small overlap-type accidents accounted for almost one quarter of frontal crashes resulting in serious or fatal injury to occupants in the front seat.
More Awards for the Altima
For the Nissan Altima, it was another safety award for its trophy case. In September, it was awarded a five-star rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for its performance. In addition to the standard safety features like the Advanced Airbag System, supplemental front seat and roof mounted airbags, Vehicle Dynamic Control, 3-point ALR/ELR seat belts and zone body construction with front and rear crumple zones, the Altima also adds next-gen Safety Shield technology. Safety Shield includes blind spot warning, lane departure warning and moving object detection through one rear camera.
Check out your local Virginia Nissan dealers to see all the 2013 Nissan Altima has to offer.
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John Shelton is a former mechanic and enjoys writing about common automobile problems and solutions for consumers.