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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Does the high price of gas have you thinking of trading in your set of wheels for something smaller? If so, we’ve got some good news for you. Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan tells us that the latest crash test results are out, and all signs point to the fact that smaller cars are getting safer.

Drivers of small, fuel-efficient cars no longer have to skimp on safety. Researchers with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an insurance industry financed research group, say a record 6 gas “sippers” have earned the distinction of being a “Top Safety Pick.”

They are the 2012 Ford Focus and 4-door Honda Civic and the 2011 models of the Hyundai Elantra, Lexus CT 200h, Nissan Juke, and Toyota Prius.

Researchers ran the cars through a battery of tests, including front, side, rollover and rear impact crashes. They say none of the cars earned a poor rating in any test, and that is a big change from the last few years when small cars struggled to earn top ratings.

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Those researchers say the credit goes to the car companies that are making what used to be extra features, now standard. For example, all have standard side air bags and most have electronic stability control that can prevent many kinds of crashes.

Still, researchers say nothing beats the protective armor of a bigger, heavier car, proving that the laws of physics are always in effect, even when gas prices seem to defy gravity.

For more info on the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, click here.

Reported by Jim Donovan, CBS 3

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