What Are the Safest Cars to Drive?

A crash test dummy hitting an airbag during a test car crash

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 42,915 people died in fatal car accidents in 2021. Here in Florida, there were 3,737 fatalities, 252,973 injuries, and a total of 401,537 car crashes in 2021, as reported by FLHSMV. With so many vehicle accidents annually, you will want to compare models and options to find one of the safest cars to drive when shopping for a new car.

Were you injured in a car accident in Tampa, Florida? Don’t accept a settlement from the insurance company until you speak with our car accident attorneys.

What features make a car safer? 

All vehicles include standard safety features, such as seatbelts, airbags, and anti-lock brakes. However, the federal requirements for these features are established by the NHTSA. For example, the NHTSA only requires automobile manufacturers to include two airbags – one for the driver and one for the front seat passenger. 

Fortunately, many automakers install at least six airbags for improved safety. The safest vehicles usually feature more than six airbags, including side door airbags, knee airbags, and rear passenger airbags. 

Aside from standard requirements, you should consider vehicles with the following safety features:

  • Rear Backup Camera – The camera helps make it easier to see what is behind the vehicle, such as pets, children, and other objects. 
  • Park Assist – Park Assist uses sensors to alert you when you are close to other objects when parking. Some vehicles will automatically brake if you get too close to an object. 
  • Lane Departure Warning – A signal will sound, alerting you if you drift out of your lane. 
  • Lane Keep Assist – This feature works along with lane departure warnings and will automatically adjust the vehicle to remain in its lane.
  • Blind Spot Sensors – Sensors detect vehicles and objects in blind spots and provide an alert, usually on the side view mirrors. 
  • Adaptive Cruise Control – This safety feature adjusts your preset speed to maintain a safe following distance between vehicles. If traffic comes to a complete stop, the vehicle will brake and stop too. 
  • Traffic Jam Cruise Control – This advanced adaptive cruise control option functions similarly, with the added benefit of stopping the vehicle and automatically resuming once traffic resumes. 
  • Forward Collision Alert – This feature warns you when to brake because something is too close to the front of the vehicle. 
  • Forward Collision Assist – When a forward collision alert is signaled, the car will automatically brake if you fail to do so quickly enough. 
  • Rear Collision Assist – The car automatically stops when it detects an object, person, or another vehicle when backing up. 
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert – A warning signal is sounded when sensors detect an approaching vehicle when backing up. 
  • Automatic High Beams – The high beams are left on all the time, and the vehicle automatically shuts them off when there are approaching vehicles. 
  • Automatic Windshield Wipers – The windshield wipers automatically turn on when it rains and adjust their speed based on how hard it is raining. 
  • Automatic Headlights – The headlights automatically turn on at dusk or when the windshield wipers are turned on. 
  • Lane Follow Assist – This safety feature uses the vehicle in front of you to determine lane location when there are no clear lane markings. 
  • Self-Parking – This feature will automatically parallel park the vehicle with minimal assistance from the driver. 

What else should I consider to choose one of the safest cars? 

Both the NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highways Safety (IIHS) conduct safety and crash tests on most vehicles. The NHTSA assigns a star rating for each of the crash tests it performs, with five stars being the highest rating. They conduct front, side, and rollover tests and also test crash preventions available with advanced driver-assisted technologies.

The IIHS conducts six crash tests and rates them as poor, marginal, acceptable, or good. They also evaluate other vehicle features, such as crash prevention and child-seat anchors. These are given a rating of basic, advanced, or superior.

Next, they combine the test results and evaluations to determine the vehicle’s overall safety. The safer cars for 2022 will have an IIHS Top Safety Pick rating, while the safest vehicles for 2022 will have an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating. The Pick+ rating means the car scored good in all crash tests and advanced or superior in all evaluation tests. 

What 2022 vehicles were rated the safest by the NHTSA and IIHS? 

The following is a list of 2022 vehicles that earned a five-star rating by the NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS, in no particular order:

  • Honda Accord
  • Honda Civic
  • Honda Insight
  • Acura TLX
  • Lexus ES
  • Lexus IS
  • Toyota Camry
  • Toyota Corolla
  • Volvo S60
  • Volvo S60 Recharge
  • Volvo S90
  • Volvo S90 Recharge
  • Volvo V60 Cross Country
  • Volvo V60 Recharge
  • Volvo V90 Cross Country
  • Subaru BRZ
  • Subaru Legacy
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Audi A6
  • Audi A7
  • Mazda3
  • Kia K5
  • Kia StingerGenesis G70
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class
  • Genesis G80
  • Genesis G90
  • Nissan Altima
  • Nissan Maxima

Other vehicles that scored five stars and received an IIHS Top Safety Pick rating for 2022 included:

  • Volkswagen Golf GTI
  • Volkswagen Arteon
  • Audi A4
  • Audi A5
  • Nissan Sentra
  • Toyota Avalon
  • BMW 2 Series
  • BMW 3 Series
  • Subaru Impreza
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Hyundai Elantra

While we highlighted the top-rated cars for 2022, you should review the ratings to help you find the safest SUV, truck, or minivan at the IIHS and the NHTSA to help you choose one of the safest vehicles

Why should I buy a top safety-rated vehicle?

Car accidents occur every single day. While most accidents are minor fender-benders, there are numerous accidents where people are injured or killed daily. For the 252,973 injuries in car crashes in Florida in 2021, this amounted to 693 injuries daily. Investing in a top safety-rated vehicle reduces the risk of being seriously injured or killed should you get into a crash. 

What should I do if I am injured in a car crash in Florida?

When you are injured in a car crash, you can be affected financially, physically, and emotionally. You can experience lost income, medical expenses, ongoing medical care, physical therapy, disfigurement, and other injuries. 

When the cause of your injuries was due to another’s negligence, you may have grounds to seek financial compensation from the responsible party. Get help filing a car accident injury claim with assistance from one of our Tampa car accident attorneys at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys. 

Schedule a free consultation today to discuss your car accident injuries and see how our injury attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve.


Newly Released Estimates Show Traffic Fatalities Reached a 16-Year High in 2021. (2022).

Traffic Crash Reports: Florida Crash Dashboard. (2022). 

More Stars Mean Safer Cars. (2022). 

2022 Top Safety Picks. (2022).