By CBS3 Staff


NEW YORK (CBS) — If you are in the market to buy a new set of wheels, there’s some important information you need to know. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety just released its list of the safest vehicles.

To earn a top safety pick, vehicles must perform well in six different crash tests.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also measures roof strength and evaluates whether headlights provide good vision.

This year, 64 vehicles earned a top safety pick award, seven more than last year, and 23 received the highest honor of top safety pick plus.

“It is an encouraging sign, especially since we raised the bar a little bit this year,” IIHS President David Harkey said.

Harkey says vehicles had to meet a higher standard in crash tests.

They also were required to have pedestrian detection systems that can prevent an accident.

Of all the automakers, Mazda took home the most safety pick plus awards with five. Subaru had four.

GM’s Cadillac was the only U.S. car company to earn the top award.

“I do think that vehicles are as safe as we’ve ever seen them,” Harkey said.

Harkey, however, says carmakers can do even better.

“One of the things we would like to see more improvement on is headlights,” he said.

He would like to see top-performing headlights become standard on all vehicles, giving drivers a better chance at avoiding an accident in the first place.

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