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5 minivans win IIHS 'Top Safety Pick' award
By Insure.com staff

Five minivans earned the "Top Safety Pick" award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in new tests that included evaluations for rollover protection.

The five 2012 models are the Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan and Volkswagen Routan, which all share a common structure, as well as the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. To qualify for the award, vehicles must score the highest rating of good for frontal, side, rollover and rear crash protection and must have electronic stability control.

Two other minivans, the Kia Sedona and the Nissan Quest, fell short on rollover protection, with the Sedona receiving a poor rating, and the Quest ranking as acceptable, the institute said.

"Safety-conscious parents shopping for a family hauler should be pleased with today's minivan choices," David Zuby, the institute's chief research officer, said in a press statement. "At the same time, the ratings show that major differences remain in this segment when it comes to protection in a rollover crash."

The institute has included a roof-strength test in its safety ratings since 2010. When vehicles roll, their roofs hit the ground and are crushed. Strong roofs hold up better and reduce the risk of people getting hit by the roof or being ejected if they're not wearing safety belts.
More than 8,000 people were killed in rollover crashes in the United States in 2009, a figure that's been falling in recent years as more vehicles are equipped with electronic stability control, which prevents rollovers from occurring.
Better vehicle safety leads to fewer crashes and injuries, which ultimately can lead to lower car insurance rates for everyone.
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